Bridgewell marks 50 years of service in Greater Lynn

LYNN ? A half century ago, an organization called Greater Lynn Mental Health began providing much-needed services to children and families struggling with emotional difficulties.That was in 1958, but the situation changed drastically in the 1970s with the movement to de-institutionalize patients from facilities across the state. As a result, Greater Lynn Mental Health began opening residential centers and soon changed its name to the Greater Lynn Mental Health and Retardation Association.The name change more appropriately presented the association’s role as a service provider to developmentally and psychiatrically disabled adults. It was a benchmark that reflected the organization’s expanded population and geographic service area.The growth hasn’t stopped. Today, known as Bridgewell and operating from a spacious headquarters at 471 Broadway in Lynnfield, the organization has forged a presence in 18 communities throughout eastern Massachusetts and serves more than 3,000 individuals a year.On Friday, Nov. 7, Bridgewell will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions at the Seaport Hotel in Boston.The event from 6-9:30 p.m. in the hotel’s Plaza Ballroom will honor Joseph Gibbons, president and chief executive officer of the Salem Five Bank, and former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and his wife, Kitty.The dinner co-chairmen are John S. Hall II and Paul J. Lanzikos. The event committee includes Ann Cohen, James Cowdell, Ted Grant, Kelly Johnson, Mara Kirby, James Low, Gordon Massey, Laura McNamara, Jill Milano, Jane Puffer, Gailanne Reeh, Agnes Ricko, Patricia Solimine, Jannelyn Spratt, Robert Stearns, Marcia Sweeney, Samuel Vitali, Maggie Wells and Elaine White.Cocktail attire is recommended. For more information about the anniversary event, contact Carol McKean Events by calling (781) 925-3459, or faxing (781) 925-3421, or emailing Please respond by Oct. 24.Individual tickets are $150. Additional sponsorship categories are Friend, $2,500; Partnership, $5,000; Wellness, $10,000; Advocate, $15,000; and Integrity, $25,000.For more about Bridgewell, go online to

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