Compeer Executive Director Michele Brown (R) and Jenny Laney
Googie Butler Award for Advocacy Jenny Laney
Jenny Laney became involved with mental health advocacy after receiving assistance from the Mental Health Association and the local chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) for her daughter, Megan. Megan is also currently matched with a Compeer mentor.
Jenny is determined to give back to the community, and currently serves as director of the Child and Family Support Program at the Mental Health Association. She is also a member of the Family Advisory Board at Baker Victory Services, and a member of the Advisory Council at BryLin Hospitals.
Jenny is a graduate of the Culinary Institue of America, and has worked as a pastry chef at numerous hotels and restaurants in Atlanta and Buffalo.
Volunteer of the Year Kathleen Henry
Kathleen Henry has been a mentor in the Compeer for Kids program since 2005. She began as a mentor in the Intensive Mentorship Program, and is still matched with her friend Cera. Kathleen is a graduate from Bryant and Stratton Business Institute and currently works for the City of Buffalo Department of Law.
In addition to her commitment as Compeer mentor, Kathleen has also volunteered with the Friends of the Night and the SPCA. Her hobbies include travel and photography.
Honoree Kathleen Henry (L) and Compeer Executive Director Michele Brown
Compeer for Adults Program Director Ryan Daley (L), Donna Johnson (C) and her friend Deann
Volunteer of the Year – Compeer for Adults Donna Johnson
Donna Johnson and her friend Deann share a special bond, which they both treasure deeply. The two became instant friends when they were matched in February 2006. Their mutual love of music and animals and strong connection to their faith has helped to cement this bond even further. They can usually be seen in the community taking walks, catching the latest flick at the movie theatre, shopping or enjoying some great conversation over a meal or cup of coffee.
Both women have faced various personal challenges over the past couple years only deepening their connection. However, both Donna and Deann testify that their friendship with one another has been a major source of strength, support and encouragement through some of these more challenging times. Donna describes Deann as a “strong person” with many talents and a strong sensitivity to others. Deann refers to Donna as her “angel” and believes her to be one of her greatest supports. Most recently, Deann gave Donna a glass angel figurine to show her what impact their friendship has had on her life.
Volunteer of the Year – Compeer for Seniors Susan Cash
Susan was matched with her first Compeer friend, Kathy, in 2001, and they are still going strong today! In 2008, both Sue and her friend befriended another consumer who had recently lost her own Compeer friend. Sue and Kathy provided extra support to their new friend, Cathy, and all three women remain friends today. Because of Sue’s dedication and encouragement, both her friends have become more outgoing and they stay active in the community, making new friends together.
Sue is a special education teacher at the League for the Handicapped School in Springville, NY.
Compeer for Seniors Program Director Sarah Stimm (R), Susan Cash (second from left), and Sue's friends, Cathy and Kathy
Compeer for Kids Program Director Karen Bartkowiak (L) and Fran Campagna
Volunteer of the Year – Compeer for Kids Fran Campagna
Fran was born in Bordeaux, France and lived in many different regions of France with her parents until they returned to her hometown where she attended high school and college. Fran left college before graduation to move to Worms, Germany where she started working for the US Army Supply Command Headquarters. She met her husband, a sergeant in the US Army, in Worms, and they had a son, Larry. They returned to the US in the spring of 1979 and settled in Eden.
Fran worked for various WNY companies as an Administrative Assistant/Export Clerk for the next several years. She joined Compeer as a mentor in late 2006 and in the spring of 2007, she was matched with her friend Sadie. Fran and Sadie are well on their way to becoming good friends. They enjoy going to the movies, looking for sea glass and pretty rocks along the lake beaches, and hand feeding the chickadees at Tifft Preserve. Sadie is also teaching Fran how to throw a baseball and patiently explains the game to her when they go to the ballpark!
Fran enjoys hiking, reading, gardening, painting, and listening to music. She also volunteers at the Eden library and WNED.