National Awards


THE 2017 





Awarded at the 33rd National Fairweather Lodge Conference 



Erie, PA



The Barbara Breen* Lodge Member of the Year

* The Late Barbara Breen was an outstanding 25 year Lodge Member


1. Fred Carlin: Fred is a long-term lodge member. He is upbeat, personable, and puts others before himself.  He is very encouraging and supportive of other members. He is a humble, caring individual who exemplifies what a Lodge member should be. Recently, one of the members has been afflicted with a serious illness. Fred made sure that his lodge member was comfortable and well looked after. He took the lead in his lodge to do this. Importantly, he did this joyfully and provided his friend with a lot of comfort.

     Fred works on the daytime janitorial crew. He is always very friendly and helpful, with his peers and with building personnel he comes into contact with. Building personnel often comment on what a nice person he is and how well he performs his duties.  When necessary, Fred takes on additional duties to help out.

     Fred joined a church a couple years ago and is a faithful member, attending Sunday School as well as Worship services.  He encourages others to attend as well. He has been and continues to be a good influence within the program, and has earned the respect of many.


2. Joe Denning: Joe is always looking for ways to help his lodge mates. He runs errands, he gets the groceries for the entire lodge each week, he made sure his lodge mates are accounted for, and provides emotional support for others while doing these things. And even when certain lodge mates are unreceptive and/or unappreciative of Joe trying to help them, he continues to have a smile on his face and goes out of his way to try his best to make sure things are running smoothly at the lodge.


3. Steve Erickson: A CCL Lodge Member of the Year back in the 90s, Steve continues unsurpassed in the leadership he provides to his lodge. As House Officer, Steve always ensures that new lodge members receive a thorough orientation and is available and capable of answering any questions they may have. As Lodge Treasurer, Steve ensures that the house finances are always in order.

     But beyond these formal duties, Steve epitomizes the Fairweather concept, providing an unmatched level of peer support, actively supporting his lodge-mates when they need it the most, and advocating for his lodge with both staff and outside agencies. When his lodge-mates struggle with their responsibilities around the lodge, Steve doesn’t just help them, he promotes their own initiatives to solve the problem.

     At the worksite, Steve demonstrates an uncharacteristic range of skills, allowing him to serve as the “float,” filling in anywhere he is needed. Steve is very dedicated and is tremendously reliable, seldom missing a day. Steve is also involved in mental health in the community, and advocates for his anyone with serious and persistent mental illness. Steve also works out every day, keeping himself in top physical condition.


4. James Hendricks: Jimmy has tried “most anti-depressants and anti-psychotics that ever hit the market.” He has made multiple suicide attempts and estimates nearly 50 mental health-related hospitalizations, his last significant mental health relapse having occurred in early 2014. He hadn’t been employed since 2007, had a poor relationship with his estranged wife and little if any relationship with his 3 children. Prior to 2014, he did nothing to help himself out of isolation and depression.

     In May of 2014, Jimmy moved to a lodge and began to work every day. Since then, he has enjoyed 3 years of growth in living, learning, working, socialization, and wellness. A “new” person, he feels on the right path to enjoy the rest of his adult life with increasing prosperity and satisfaction.

     Since joining the lodge, for example, James has managed his finances to the point where he has been able to purchase and maintain a personal vehicle. He has returned to school, completing a CNC G-Code and Lathe classes, and is currently searching for a position associated with these new skills.

     Jimmy has also begun to share more responsibility with respect to providing for and taking care of his children, seeing them on average of 2-4 days weekly for longer periods of time, taking them shopping, and often providing transportation to and from school.  Though they are not “together,” he and the mother of his children now have a more ‘stable’ relationship than before where she can now trust and rely on him.

     In December of 2016, Jimmy was granted early release from parole, having completed his requirements for Treatment Court (otherwise, he would be on  parole for years to come). He has not had a cigarette in over 9 months, and has been 4 years clean from drugs and alcohol. 

     Jimmy was recently nominated for the “Hope is Real Award,” an award to honor those who have made significant progress in achieving recovery. He recognizes that he’s not “done yet”, but he has certainly has put a lot of distance between himself and prison, between himself and the hospital.


5. Alvin Lange (WINNER): Alvin is a man of Integrity and passion, righteous, trustworthy, honest, helpful and friendly. You can always trust him to do the best he can at work and at his Lodge. He unfailingly supports the Lodge Principles, always looking for and finding the best in people. Alvin can turn his lodge-mates cloudy day into sunshine.

     Alvin has a great work ethic, giving his all every work-day, a conscientious employee working past his shift when needed, and always on time. If he has to miss work for any reason, he always makes up the time later. Any employer proud to employ him.

     When Alvin commits to something, he is committed. He joined a

Peace of Mind group many years ago, and has never missed a meeting. He gets the most possible out of his bowling team (2nd place this year!).

     Alvin stays connected with his community, family, friends, and co-workers. He remembers birthdays, and in times of sadness, Alvin is there. He makes a point to buy locally, and supports our local animal shelter. He is constantly looking for deals, and lets his lodge-mates know if he runs across something he thinks they might want or need.


6. Matt Menge: Matt has been a lodge member for 15 years, first as a member of the Highlanders Lodge, and in recent years as a member of the Crowns Lodge. In both lodges Matt has exemplified leadership qualities, always eager to do his part, and beyond. He served both Lodges as Treasurer, maintaining the funds to sustain the ongoing needs of the lodge. To ensure that his Lodge stays afloat, he has, at times, needed to be shrewd about which bills to pay when, and, at other times, forceful with his lodge-mates about reducing expenses.  Also, maintaining a car at his own expense, he frequently drives lodge-mates to various appointments when the lodge van is not available.

     On the job, Matt is an invaluable part of a mailroom team, always helpful, courteous, and punctual. He is friendly with his mailroom teammates, and supportive. He takes interest in their lives, and never turns down a request to sub-in extra hours when needed. His sense of humor is especially appreciated in trying times.

     Matt serves on the board of his local NAMI group, and as an usher of his church, where he also attends a weekly Bible study. Matt is an excellent example of what recovery looks like.


7. Tony Smith-Jones: Tony has been a member of Jordan Lodge since mid-2016. He got a great recommendation from the folks at the Training Lodge, so we were expecting him to be a good addition, but even so we underestimated him. For one thing, Jordan Lodge has never been so clean as since Tony joined. Tony spends much of his free time cleaning up the lodge and making it a pleasant and presentable place to live; he doesn’t complain when he gets no help, but always welcomes it when offered.

     Tony is a true leader and exemplifies the Fairweather Model providing peer support to all his lodge-mates, always lending a helping hand or ear, ensuring the maintenance of a positive lodge environment. During his first year, he has experienced a few triggers towards relapse of his illness, but he has stood strong, and asked for help from peers and staff rather than give into his illness.


8. John Windsperger: John has been a member of the Astros Lodge since 1995, and has always been a good lodge member, completing his house duties without prodding, participating in lodge meetings, and always supportive and willing to hang out, listening to music, or go out with his lodge-mates, for walks, shopping, concerts, etc.

     But since a turnover in leadership last winter, John has really stepped up. He takes and gives constructive feedback better than ever, initiates activities with his lodge-mates, helps with grocery shopping when it’s not even his turn, and is incredibly helpful at the worksite, volunteering for extra work when the lodge was short-handed and helping others to maintain a positive attitude. All while going smoke-free for the first time in many years. John exemplifies the Fairweather Model.





The winner of CCL's Lodge Member of the Year Award also receives a Dr. George W. (Bill) Fairweather Scholarship to the next full National Conference (Conference Registration and accommodations, travel not included).


The Dorothy Berger* Innovation Award

* Dorothy Berger started a “Small Group Ward” in 1968, and founded Tasks Unlimited in 1970.


1. Tasks Unlimited Development Program

Beginning in July 2016, Tasks Unlimited embarked on a 3-year strategy, including the hiring of a full-time development manager, to develop communications and fundraising relationships with individuals and foundations to advance specific programs and general operating funding for the lodge program, for supportive employment, and for mental health services. In his first 12 months, Development Director Paul Vliem has been able to secure approximately $90,000 to support Tasks’ efforts. 


2. Tasks Unlimited Mailroom Operations: Twenty years ago, Tasks Unlimited Building Services expanded its scope to provide mailroom operations, primarily for Federal Agencies. Currently, Tasks operates mailrooms for the Army Corps of Engineers, the US Department of Agriculture, and the IRS. And over the years, Tasks has provided excellent service to all three, winning numerous national service awards, including three IRS Awards, one USDA Award, and multiple Corps of Engineers nominations.

     The operation of these mailrooms provide good-paying, full and part-time jobs for approximately a dozen consumers, including lodge members.  Over the years, some had tried mailroom work and found it less interesting than janitorial. But the current mailroom crews love their work, especially the opportunity become fully integrated into these important federal agencies. 


3. Marcia Wible (WINNER): The majority of Marcia’s adult life has been spent in service to others, either in her time with the US Marines, or her nearly 30 years of civilian service. Marcia brings energy, enthusiasm, wisdom, knowledge of the folks she serves, realistic common sense and creativity, to her work. 

     Marcia was instrumental her organization becoming involved in Fairweather Lodges in the first place. Through her efforts, Chambersburg Lodge has been operating for 12 years, all Lodge members working in the community in a variety of jobs. This lodge, that Marcia helped give birth to, not only supports the Lodge Members, but in some cases, through the years, their children as well.

     Marcia’s leadership has given this group the sense of shared community and responsibility, including the ability to question agency policy when it seemed in conflict with Lodge Principles. One example was when the Lodge members came to Marcia, and using the skills developed under her tutelage, argued successfully to be allowed to have a bottle of Champaign at the Lodge for New Years’ Eve.  They laid out the argument that they did not want to be out on the streets that night, and none of them had an addiction issue.  Marcia could not argue with that, and neither could the agency.

     Marcia has also been key to the growth of Fairweather Lodges in rural, South Central Pennsylvania, including the 5 Lodges sponsored by her agency, and successful Lodge business. One of these Lodges serves previously homeless individuals; another is among the first Veteran’s Lodges in Pennsylvania.

     Currently, Marcia is the Director for our Lodge Coordinators, her training and supervision scaled to individual needs.  She allows them to handle problems, create opportunities, and yet is always available to assist or be an ear if needed, her method for working with Coordinators a reflection of Lodge Principles – interdependence rather than dependence. 

     Marcia has announced her intention to retire at the end of 2017.  She will be missed by Lodge members and staff alike.  






The CCL* Lodge Group of the Year

* The Coalition of Community Living is a national organization promoting the Fairweather Model


1. Scarboro Lodge (WINNER): Scarboro Lodge is an amazing example of what a Lodge can be. They follow the guidelines in all areas. They have weekly meetings, plan and participate in weekly events, eat together, look after one another, and handle most of their own concerns. The house is always in good order and each person contributes to the welfare of the group. The house maintains a great family atmosphere. Many are involved in the community and participate in their churches, Special Olympics, and other civic organizations. All of them, except for one retired member, are employed or regularly engaged in volunteering. This Lodge hardly needs a coordinator. During the Holidays each year, Scarboro Lodge hosts a celebration for the other Lodges as well as staff and people from the community, providing the food and refreshments at their own expense.  

     Scarboro Lodge has been willing to give second chances to individuals who were not accepted by, or had been kicked out of, other Lodges, including some very difficult people. Many of these individuals succeeded at Scarboro Lodge. A couple of times, Scarboro Lodge has been taken advantage of by certain individuals, but the lodge remains open to helping difficult people.


2. Sunspots Lodge:  The Sunspots lodge has overcome a lot of adversity in the past year, including financial hardships due to a reduction in the number of members and also due to members not paying their dues. But Sunspots Lodge came through it.

     Some members have needed exceptional support in order to maintain their level of general independence. And three lodge members in particular really stepped up to provide that support in the form of prompts and reminders. These individuals go above and beyond in supporting the other lodge members and they have effectively dealt with some very difficult situations. And through it all, the Sunspots have remained productive, with all but one member maintaining their employment. E3 P3

     The Sunspots flexibility has been tested. With members’ various work schedules, the lodge implemented two med groups, twice a day, so that each member would have the opportunity to take their meds with a peer witness. And the members often needed to switch cooking days so that everyone has a chance to cook. The Sunspots would not have made it through if they had been rigid.

     Unity has also been crucial. They do things together. They push each other to be the best they can be, and to realize their potential. Peer support in encouraging each other to work out, to go to the physician as needed, to take meds as prescribed, in following physician recommendations, in utilizing public transportation, in maintaining a healthy diet, in cleaning duties, in planning and attending activities.


The George W. (Bill) Fairweather* Lifetime Achievement Award

* The late Dr. Fairweather was the genius-creator of the community Lodge Model


Ed Dawson: Ed is a natural born leader, comfortable and dynamic from the beginning as a teacher, coach, and mentor for Lodge Members and associated professional staff. He is a thoughtful, creative and passionate man with a does- what-it-takes attitude.

     In 1998, after many years of service in more traditional community mental health, Ed became acquainted with the Fairweather Lodge Model while touring lodge programs in Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio.

     In 1999, Ed founded of the Fairweather Lodge program at Stairways Behavioral Health in Erie, PA. Subsequently, the Erie program has grown to become the largest lodge program in PA, and Ed has served as a recognized and respected leader with the Pennsylvania Fairweather Lodge statewide network.


     In 2003, Ed was elected to the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Community Living, and has been an active Board Member ever since. His contributions to the CCL include key participation in the development of the Fairweather Lodge Fidelity Standards, and as Ambassador/Speaker/Trainer at numerous local, state and national meetings and conferences.

     Since leaving Stairways in 2006, Ed has applied the same Fairweather Principles and “does-what-it-takes” spirit to his own entrepreneurial ventures, including a highly successful property-management business which provides affordable housing for scores of Erie residents, including many with mental illness and related issues.





CCL Special Recognition

* The Coalition of Community Living is a national organization promoting the Fairweather Model


CCL recognizes the Erie Lodge Team, led by Tina Loomis, as the Lodge Team of the Year. Tina’s Team, including Tammy Young (the team’s bleeding heart), Joe Crotty (always calm in a crisis), Amanda Ferguson (dogged advocate for health issues), and Carolyn Butler (relentless advocate for stable housing) manages to keep 10 lodges running. They have improved the lives of scores of lodge members and their community. 

     Although each member of the team has their own personalities, they understand each other’s strengths and weakness and work together to keep the Erie Fairweather Lodge program growing. The Erie Lodge Team rocks!





David Sanders* Lodge Coordinator of the Year

* David Sanders was the Coordinator of the very first Fairweather Lodge, in 1963.


1. Shanna Carson: Shanna filled in while our regular coordinator was on maternity leave. For three months, she served our Lodge at the same time as the Horizon Lodge, but somehow managed to spends lots of time with us, as though we were her only concern. She did countless things with us, including meeting with us one on one, which I really enjoyed. Our regular Coordinator is great, but I will really miss Shanna when she’s gone.


2. April Cosgrove (WINNER): When a longtime fellow coordinator retired, in March of this year, and a replacement not hired due to budget restraints, April became responsible for five Lodges and a good portion of the related vocational enterprises.

     This additional responsibility demands flexibility, and April has shown herself to be very flexible with her hours.  It is not unusual to see her at work in the evenings and on weekends. This additional responsibility also has demanded increased independence, and April has demonstrated that also. To say the least, she has handled the increased workload well. 

     April is a person with great energy and vision. She cares about the program and the members. Since her promotion, she has tightened up the janitorial crew, made our transportation program more efficient, and has improved weaving loft operations. All the Lodges are stable and usually full.

     Importantly, April is excellent at motivating the members to be active.  She has them exercising more, utilizing community resources more effectively, and spending more time recreating together. On the business side, she has cracked down on people paying their rents on time and has everyone handling their money more responsibly.

     Under April’s leadership, the Lodges have become less dependent on staff. With April’s tutoring, members have stepped up to be more responsible and to assume more leadership rolls. 


3. Lisa Mason: Everyone loves Lisa! And not just the members of her Lodges. Other consumers recognize her positive energy and communication skills. Everyone who has had the opportunity to work with Lisa speaks of how dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring she is. Despite 10+ years as a Lodge Coordinator, Lisa consistently comes to work with a positive and caring attitude. Her response to questions or assigned work is always “yes, we can do it!”. She helps clients with a high level of compassion and sensitivity, even in tough situations.

     Lisa establishes incredible rapport with consumers, and engages with them in a way that allows them to feel open to communicate about anything. Saying the right, professional thing, at the right moment, can be very difficult, especially in difficult situations. Lisa does this very well, and is careful to keep her language person-centered, where the focus is on the client and not the disability. She constantly advocates for her clients, prioritizing their individual recovery visions, and is always willing to go above and beyond in providing support. 

Lisa provides excellent input, team support, and client care in all of the roles that she fills. She is excellent at building work and coping skills, and group cohesiveness within her lodge. Lisa works with an array of personalities living together in the lodge, and she consistently facilitates their growth both individually and together as a group. Every client that Lisa has worked with has grown in some way, whether that’s improving their ability to manage their physical and mental health, learning new vocational skills, or developing better relationships with their peers.

     In addition to her lodge duties Lisa helps out at JTP and at two worksites, where she is welcoming and helpful to new coordinators. Recently, even though this is outside her job description, Lisa volunteered to spearhead a training event designed to teach fellow staff how to better teach janitorial skills for clients. Lisa doesn’t hesitate to put in extra time and energy into any project she knows will benefits consumers.


4. Tammy Young: Tammy has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years and has been our Lodge Coordinator for the past 2 ½ years. Tammy is caring, empathetic, and the best advocate that any lodge member could ever have. She is also a lot of fun, even when the work is serious. 

     Tammy gives of herself endlessly not only at the lodge but in many areas of her life, and she has gotten many of our lodge members to join her in doing volunteer work for programs that they utilized when they were homeless. Her first and last thought is always about helping someone less fortunate, and since she became our Coordinator, it has rubbed off on us.

     Tammy has built an easy rapport with the lodge members in other ways, also. She can draw lines in the dirt when necessary, and be very honest with us without putting us down. In a crisis, she is there to the end. Tammy has gained the respect of not only the clients, and her peers, but also with the community, which recognizes that Tammy and the lodge will give someone a chance when no one else will.  She knows that sometimes it works, and sometimes not, but she gives of herself every time.








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