jim cusack celebrates 80th birthday (the new 60)!

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  • Jim Cusack Celebrates 80th Birthday (the new 60)!The morning of Saturday, April 18 was business as usualfor Jim Cusack. He had received news by 10:00 a.m.he was to oversee the disciplinary Staffing of a Villaclient. Jim dreaded the task, but treated it as a necessaryevil and part of his job to afford clients another chanceto straighten out their lives.

    Jim, who likes to introduce himself as Sues husband,and Sue didnt let the news put a damper on their dinnerplans with old friends and colleagues Fred and Pat Reihl,however. Fred and Pat, another husband and wife teamwho founded Freedom House in Glen Gardner, NJ andJim and Sue reminisced and shared a lovely dinnerbefore returning to Veritas Villa where Jim would excusehimself to deal with the troubled client. On enteringThe Villa, Jim was not greeted by one extremely nervousclient, but by over 200 of his closest friends assembledto surprise Jim for his 80th Birthday party.

    Surprise was the resoundingcry heard over the applausefrom the crowd, and reportsindicate it was the biggestGotcha Jim had received inhis life.

    Sue Cusack had spent monthsplanning Jims party. With thehelp of Fred and Pat Reihl anda promise to maintain a vow

    of silence from all guests, Sue was able to pull off thesurprise. She also designed the invitation highlightingJims renewed energy and enthusiasm for his life andhis mission to help the addict. It read, 80 Is The New60 and set the stage for a lively and entertaining evening.Guests included relatives, friends and staff from as close

    by as across The Villa lobby to as far away as across thecountry. It was a top notch affair, complete with cateredfood and beverage, including a full course dinnercourtesy of Villa Delight and Jim Maloneys TheWhite Wolf in Napanoch.

    A traditional Bag Piper indress tartans kicked-off theevenings entertainmentwith Ed Brocks providingpiano selections duringdinner. After dinner, guestswere treated to the sure-footed maneuverings ofyoung Irish Step Dancersto round out the eveningsfestivities.

    Special guests took turns behind the podium to honorJim for his personal and professional achievements. TheVillas own Ken L. emceed the speaker portion of theevening. Jims nephew, Kevin Cusack, headed thedocket sharing amusing anecdotes from Jims past andheralding him as a pioneer in the Field of Drug andAlcohol Treatment. Sr. Maryann and Sr. Peggy,Dominican nuns who played a pivotal role in the start-up Veritas Villa when it was located in Monticello, werealso on hand to praise Jim for his life-time commitmentto his work with addicts. Finally, with signature humilityand sincerity, Jim took the stage to express his genuinesurprise and overwhelming gratitude for the love andsupport of friends and family on such a special night.Jim concluded his comments to all his well-wishers,Ive got plans he said.

    As for the client Staffing?

    See the middle of the newsletter for pictures from the festivities.

    www.veritasvilla.com Summer 2009 Edition Phone: 845-626-3555


    ACHIEVEMENT AWARDVeritas Villa, Inc. founders, Jim and Sue Cusack were among the honorees recognized for their achievements inchemical dependency at the NY/Westchester branch of the NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug

    Dependence) annual spring luncheonheld April 30, 2009 at the Lake IsleCountry Club in Eastchester, NY.Guests of Jim and Sue on hand to addto their well-deserved accolades wereVilla staff, including Les McCandles,General Manager, Lyn Rubin, WomensTreatment Team, Ken Lavery, MensTreatment Team, Diane Dunn, Medical,Fr. Jack Hauser and Mary Andreasen, Communications & Marketing. Amongthe awards presented to Jim and Sue at the luncheon were an engraved plaquerecognizing them for theircontributions in the field of alcoholismand drug addiction treatmentpresented by Joan Bonsignore,Executive Director of NCADD-Westchester, a letter of Proclamationhonoring them for their dedication to

    the community from Jeffrey Klein, NY State Senate, 34th District and aCertificate of Recognition from NY State Senator-35th District, Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Sue Cusack commented on the afternoons proceedings, makingspecial mention of the respect and support Ms. Bonsignore, her daughter, Gina and the rest of the NCADD-Westchesterstaff showed for the 12-Steps of Recovery, calling their enthusiasm for the Program and the Steps as a way of life

    pervasive, evident and catching. Jim and Sue were in the company of otheresteemed honorees from the White PlainsPolice Dept. and the White Plains YouthBureau and other local organizationspromoting healthy community relations.Distinguished hosts and emcees of theafternoons events included Keynote speaker,actor Joseph McBratney and Master ofCeremonies, Scott Clark, Sports anchorfor WABC-TV.


    Overcast skies didnt dampen the spirit of Veritas Villa staff members invited to attend Freedom Houses The FamilyAfterward Womens Awards Luncheon, May 6, 2009 where The Villas co-founder, Sue Cusack waspresented with the C.R. Bard Outstanding Woman in Treatment Award for 2009.The luncheon was held at the Basking Ridge Country Club in Basking Ridge, NJ. Seated with Sue to help honor herwere Villa management and staff including, husband and Villa co-founder, Jim Cusack, Joe Stoeckeler, ExecutiveDirector, Francis Lovell, Admissions Director, Lyn Rubin, Womens Program Director, Eddie McDonnell, CASAC,

    Pat Cooney, Laura Startup, Barbara Murray and Luwayna Williams.Sue was one of three women recognizedby The Family Afterward for theircontributions to womens causes. TheFamily Afterward, a subsidiary ofFreedom House, is a New Jersey-basedresident network providing services forwomen recovering from alcohol and drugaddiction. It also guides women throughthe process of family reunification whilefacilitating their ongoing personalrecovery.

    Executive Director for The FamilyAfterward, Pat Reihl was the AwardsLuncheon hostess while WABCEyewitness News Anchor, DianaWilliams was special guest.Judith Heim, Freedom HouseChairman, presented The FamilyAfterward Graduate AchievementAward to Cynthia William. SueCusack was the first of twohonorees to receive specialrecognition for her work in the fieldof chemical dependency treatment.Christopher Ganser, VP for themedical supplies manufacturer,C.R. Bard and a chief sponsor forthe luncheon, presented Sue withthe Outstanding Woman inTreatment Award while KentManahan of the NJN networkreceived the Outstanding Woman inBusiness award for her reporting onwomens issues.At a Villa Staff Meeting followingthe luncheon, Sue graciously thanked her Villa family members for theirsupport and commitment to The Villa, adding her Treatment Award reallybelongs to all of us.

  • STAFF NEWSCongratulations are in order for Ray Bajaba who has been promoted toChief Financial Officer for Veritas Villa.

    John Reed has been promoted to ClinicalDirector, replacing Denise Cusack whoresigned her position to attend to medicaland personal matters. Congratulationsto John and health and happiness toDenise who has promised to keep intouch.

    Jane Brown, CASAC-T, has beenappointed Clinical Associate,reporting to Womens ClinicalDirector, Lyn Rubin. Jane will takeon additional responsibilities for therunning of Womens Program.

    Bonnie Ab-Ale has taken on the roleof Intake Specialist helpingAdmissions manage new client flow. Herincreased responsibilities are in additionto her regular work in Medicaladministration and billing.

    Gene Ricciardi and Darlene McMillan are co-Supervisors in charge of TheVilla Kitchen and Kitchen Crew management.

    New ArrivalEric B. and wife Ashley became the proud parents of ababy girl, Mea Dora, born February 24, 2009. Mea was7lbs. 9 oz. and 20" long at birth. Eric is happy to reportshes happy and has a healthy appetite.

  • Go West, Young Man!It was a bitter, sweet good-bye for young Ed Sladek and his mom, Helen as their friends and Villa Family bid themGod Speed on their move to Tempee, AZ. Villa staff members from every

    department were on handfor the Farewell festivitiesheld March 31, 2009 inThe Villa Sunshine Room.Guests enjoyed a varietyof refreshments while theytook turns reminiscingabout Eds growing up aspart of the Villa family andHelens successful road toRecovery and employmentwith The Villa in severalcapacities thanks to the love, care and guidance offered by Jim andSue Cusack. Helens daughter, Kim who is returning to the States,having completed her tour of duty with US Armed Forces inAfghanistan, wasapplauded for her valiantpeace-keeping efforts asher son, Cameron tookturns bouncing on thelaps of Grandmother,Helen and Uncle Eddie.A ceremonious cake-cutting topped off theparty, as Ed and Helenshared their thoughts andthanks.

    Kims return is the motivating factor for the Sladek relocation. Themove is more than just a change of address for Helen and Ed. It meansthe reunification of a family. Family is a huge part of The Villa valuesystem and their plan to rejoin Kim in her new home in Tempee, AZ isproof positive The Villa way of thinking pays off. Now Ed and Helencan say with certainty they have two families who love and care forthem deeply. Helen and Ed, keep in touch. God Bless!

  • A year-long journey of hard work and dedicationA year-long journey of hard work and dedication culminated with a graduation celebration on March 12, 2009, atSamaritan Village in Ellenville, New York. Completing 350 hours ofclassroom instruction required for CASAC-T certification were our veryown Carlos Supak, David Sherbelle, and Ed Kelley. Their class alsoincluded staff from RECAP, Dynamite Youth Center, Renaissance, andSamaritan Village.The course, which began on April 17, 2008, was extended an additionalmonth due to sno