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Dublin woman hired as nonprofit’s lead fundraiser

Lucy Shonk of Dublin returned to Monadnock Family Services in February as the nonprofit organization's director of development.

Courtesy photo

Lucy Shonk of Dublin returned to Monadnock Family Services in February as the nonprofit organization's director of development. Courtesy photo Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

KEENE — Helping people in need of mental and behavioral health services is work that Lucy Shonk of Dublin says is close to her heart.

That’s why her return in February to Monadnock Family Services — a nonprofit agency that provides treatment to individuals and families struggling with mental illness — was a wonderful reunion, Shonk told the Ledger-Transcript on Monday.

“Although I loved working at the Dublin School, my heart was calling me back to MFS,” she said.

Shonk worked as Monadnock Family Service’s director of development from 2008 to 2010, and after leaving the agency she joined the Dublin School’s staff as annual fund director. Shonk had previously held the position of admissions director at Franklin Pierce University. “I started in 2000 as a volunteer with MFS,” Shonk said of the Keene-based agency, which has an office in Peterborough and runs the Monadnock Adult Care Center in Jaffrey. “I strongly believe in their mission and I’m glad to be back.”

In her position as director of development, Shonk is responsible for managing the organization’s annual fund campaign and fundraising events, as well as establishing and building relationships with donors, business groups and civic leaders.

But in an uncertain economy, the challenge for nonprofits to raise money is greater than ever, she said. “In every sector of our society, people are weighing how much they can give to nonprofits,” Shonk said. “It’s not an easy mission, but it’s so critical.”

Phil Wyzik, chief executive officer for Monadnock Family Services, said by phone Friday that money from all sources, including donations and government-based funding, has been drastically reduced since the recession hit in 2008; the agency is operating with approximately $1 million to $2 million dollars less than it once did, he said. Monadnock Family Services serves 35 towns in Cheshire and western Hillsborough counties, where 230 workers provide mental health and counseling programs for approximately 3,000 children and 4,000 adults, according to agency’s website.

“For that reason, the organization is a lot smaller than it was a couple of years ago, but there seems to be some optimism on the horizon,” Wyzik said. He explained that the option each state has under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicade coverage to low-income Americans could provide more people the opportunity to seek help.

With Shonk’s many years of experience as a development professional, Wyzik said he’s confident she will be a valued spokesperson for MFS at a time when the need for mental health programs in the Monadnock region is high. “Her wide experience as a seasoned fundraiser, longtime advocate for MFS and extensive links to the MFS community make her an ideal match for us,” Wyzik is quoted as saying in a press release emailed to the Ledger-Transcript on March 27.

Over the years, Shonk has been active with Dublin’s community church and historical society; she has also served on the boards of trustees for the Peterborough Players and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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