Plainfield, NJ – On Sept. 21st, Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, Central New Jersey’s leading mental health rehabilitation and recovery organization, presented Plainfield's Cory Storch, CEO, with a standard plaque congratulating him on his 40th Anniversary of service at Bridgeway. Like Cory himself - the word “standard” cannot be applied to any other element of Storch’s anniversary celebration.
The annual awards event, which was hosted at KEAN University’s STEM Building auditorium, featured the presentation of certificates for outstanding accomplishment, presented to 28 people who receive Bridgeway services, and who have begun to manage the symptoms of their serious mental illnesses, and achieve their employment, education and wellness goals.
Then the audience – a collection of staff, Board Trustees, persons served by Bridgeway, and family and friends, sang We Are Family, the early 80s hit by Sister Sledge.
When the song ended, several people who had worked alongside Storch for many years took the microphone one by one. Each spoke with heartfelt gratitude for Cory’s long history of motivating people to reach their God-given potential. The common theme expressed, whether by staff or person served by Bridgeway, was Storch’s belief every day for 40 years in the power of each person’s ability to succeed and be happy. Mark Williams, the Chairman of Bridgeway’s Board of Trustees, gave an emotional thanks to Storch for visiting his church, the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, for making it possible for people to go back to church and back to school, and for initiating the Mental Health Stigma-Free Campaigns in Plainfield and North Plainfield. Williams said “I hope what I have said here tonight gives you a little bit of an idea about how important you are to so many people.”
One of the VIP members of the audience to witness the heart-warming tribute was Valerie Mielke, Assistant Commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Cory Storch’s fundamental belief that recovery from mental illness is possible was the message delivered by Ms. Mielke, who was genuinely humbled by her knowledge that Storch’s “quiet persistence” has changed the way mental illness is treated by lawmakers in Trenton.
The finale of the 40th Anniversary tribute was a sing-a-long of Bridgeway’s new recovery anthem, I Can See Clearly Now, accompanied by Ron Allen, program director in Sussex County, on guitar, and honoree/artist/musician Ramon, who himself received an award for outstanding progress towards recovery. Storch, who was known to bring his guitar to work and play in the programs he was running 40 years ago, was presented with a special gift – a guitar – made even more special because on the guitar was painted a scene of the White Mountains, one of Cory’s favorite hiking trips.
Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, Inc. is a nonprofit mental health services organization whose mission is to assist those central and northern New Jersey residents who have serious and persistent mental disabilities yet have the potential to recover, to be self-sufficient, to live in and contribute to their communities. Bridgeway services are available in 11 central and northern New Jersey counties. Bridgeway is recognized as a state-wide leader in psychiatric rehabilitation services. Bridgeway operates a recovery program based on Roosevelt Avenue in downtown Plainfield.
Learn more at www.bridgewayrehab.org, and follow Bridgeway on Facebook, on Twitter @BridgewayRehab, on YouTube, and read their blog. And don't miss the WALKATHON at TD Bank Ballpark on Saturday, Oct. 28th. Download the registration form.