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HAVERHILL — A newly created group, Friends of Nevins Family of Services, gathered at DiBurro’s for a dinner that it hopes to make an annual fundraising event.

“We’re very, very excited about this,” said Felix Albano, Jr., the chief executive officer. “We have approximately 110 people who signed up to be friends of Nevins. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support.”

The program, co-founded by William Pitocchelli, Nevins director of admissions, and board of directors member Brian Sheehey, donated $6,000 to Nevins for needs of the patients and staff.

Those in attendance on Oct. 26 enjoyed minestrone soup, salad, turkey roast and all the trimmings for dinner, along with an apple-cinnamon, French vanilla ice cream treat for dessert.

After dinner, Albano took the stage again to explain how important the new program is to Nevins.

“You are being a friend to the more than 300 elders we serve in the Merrimack Valley and to the more than 250 employees of the Nevins Family Services.”

Richard Hillard, Nevins Centre Family member, said he had several family members in care of Nevins at various times, including his daughter, Katie, whom had suffered from a brain tumor.

Hillard couldn’t help but insert some humor into his remarks.

“My daughter has a very good reason for being here tonight,” Hillard explained to the crowd. “I think her and her brothers a trying to find a home for me.”

Hillard said he knew he made the right decision on Nevins when his family members said, “thank you. You’ve done a good job picking out the place for me to stay.”

June Black was in a similar situation — both her 95-year-old father and 93-year-old uncle are Nevins residents.

“They’re actually on the same floor so they can visit with each other,” Black said. “It’s so reassuring to know they are being taken care of 24/7. I will be one of your friends for life.”

Sue Ellen Holmes also had two family members in Nevins care, but not at the same time.

“My mother has been at the Adult Day Health Center for the past three years,” Holmes said. “But my history with Nevins started in 1983 with my grandmother. She spent 15 years at Nevins and died at the age of 107.”

Holmes thanks the Nevins staff for taking such good care of her family.

“We’re just delighted they give the little extra TLC,” Holmes said. “But you’re only as good as your leaders and the reason why Nevins is so loving and competent is that man right there, Felix Albano.”

The Nevins Family Services includes the Adult Day Health Center that allows elders to spend six to seven hours a day in an environment to get medications, exercise and the opportunity to socialize with others, while the Nevins Manor allows elders to live in full apartments so they can remain independent. The Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre offers 24 hours of care to those that need it or the care needed to get elders healthy enough to return to their homes and their independence.

The family of services also includes the Alzheimer Family Care Center and Trans Care, which provides nonemergency health-care transportation.

Have a story idea? Gayle Simone can be reached at 978-970-4838 or by e-mail at gsimone@thevalleydispatch.com.