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14th Annual Circle of Friends Event Features Mary Cucarola

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July 17, 2018
Family Service Society, Inc. hosts the 14th Annual Circle of Friends event, which takes place on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at Indiana Wesleyan University’s Barnes Student Center. The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and will feature keynote speaker, Mary Cucarola.

Circle of Friends is the second largest fundraiser of the year and is critical for aiding Family Service Society, Inc.’s ability to meet the needs of clients across the communities it serves. Formatted as a luncheon, corporations and individuals pay sponsorships then bring with them friends and supporters to learn about the agency and the mission we serve. Each year there is a different focus that is mission centric to our organization and this year’s focus is on the personal journey of families through addiction.

This year, we are welcoming keynote speaker, Mary Cucarola with her presentation, called “Like a Landslide: A Mother’s Climb Out of the Heartbreak of her Son’s Addiction.”

In this very personal presentation, Mary takes the audience on a journey through her son’s addiction and to his eventual death from a drug overdose. Addiction has traditionally been a disease of shame and silence until the recent epidemic of opiate addiction. Her message is one of hope and compassion emphasizing no one is to blame for a spirit damaged by addiction.

”Mary is a true advocate serving families in what some may believe are their darkest days. She comes from a place of deep knowing and compassion.” said President/CEO of FSSI, Lisa Dominisse. “We’re so honored she is coming to share her personal story that unfortunately is shared by many in our own community. As we strive to eradicate addiction by improving social and emotional wellbeing of all our citizens, we need to be mindful of those who have been tragically affected and make sure we are caring for them openly and without judgment.”

A former CPA and business owner, Mary founded her addiction nonprofit, Cody’s Fresh Start Charity Works, after her son passed away from an opioid overdose in 2013. She has devoted her time to helping others impacted by the disease of addiction since 2014, with the hope of giving a voice to her son’s disease, she advocates for change and for not letting one more child die from a drug overdose or letting one more parent suffer in silence.

In addition to the luncheon, Cucarola will do a Question & Answer hour- a Family Conversation About Addictions- for our families that have a loved one struggling with addiction or have lost a loved one to an overdose. This will be in the evening of August 21, 2018 at 7 pm at First Christian Church, 1970 N Wabash Rd. Marion, IN 46952, light refreshments will be available and this is a free event.

“The purpose of this event is to provide a forum for our families, support systems and caregivers to ask questions, gain resources and realize they are not alone in this journey.” stated Marketing & Development Director, Iris Brunner. “Our main goal is to help families that feel isolated, create a group they can lean on and help them find hope in their current situation.”

Space is limited and an RSVP is kindly requested. To reserve a spot for the Family Conversation About Addictions visit, or call Jeanelle Artherhults at (765) 662-9971 x 106.

To sponsor the Circle of Friends event or to purchase tickets please visit, or contact Jeanelle Artherhults, (765) 662-9971 x 106 or For more information about Mary Cucarola and her organization, please visit .
Iris Brunner, Marketing and Development Director
(765) 662-9971 x103