Gloversville Housing Authority partners with Catholic Charities to offer free movies

Representatives of Advancing Tobacco Free Communities from Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties discuss the free movie screenings they will provide for Gloversville Housing Authority residents with executive director Heather Reynolds at DuBois Garden Apartment complex on Thursday. Front row from left, Patrice Vivirito, Tricia Terleckey and Sarah Kraemer. Back row, Reynolds. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing Authority is partnering with Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties to provide free movie screenings for residents at each of the authority’s buildings for an evening of entertainment paired with education.

The first screening will be held for families residing at the DuBois Garden Apartment complex on the lawn today at 7:30 p.m. with the 2018 comedy “Show Dogs.” Next month Catholic Charities will provide matinees for residents of Forest Hill Towers on Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. and Kingsboro Towers at noon in the community rooms with the film to be determined.

The free movie events are being put on by Patrice Vivirito, Tricia Terleckey and Sarah Kraemer from Catholic Charities’ Advancing Tobacco Free Communities program who will also provide free snacks like pizza, popcorn and bottled water.

“I think it’s nice for people to associate us with something that’s pleasant and fun. I think sometimes people see us in the community and they think we’re just the anti-tobacco people,” Terleckey said while going over final details at DuBois on Thursday for tonight’s event.

Before screening, each of the films that do not contain any depictions of smoking, the three women will present information to residents about the health risks associated with smoking and resources for anyone looking to quit.

“We’re not against smokers, it’s an addiction,” Vivirito said.

“It’s easier to prevent you from starting smoking than it will be to help you quit later on in life,” Kraemer added.

The local ATFC program is funded by a state Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control grant held by Catholic Charities. The program seeks to reduce the impact of tobacco and limit exposure to second hand smoke through education and the establishment of preventive policies.

ATFC participates in a number of local community events and works with groups, individuals, municipalities and public and privately owned multi-housing units free of charge to present informational sessions, educational materials, assistance drafting policies and access to cessation services.

Although the GHA has had smoke free units since May 2010, the ATFC has worked with the GHA since 2015 to help implement a tobacco free grounds policy in January 2016 and provide classes and fun educational events like the free movie screenings that are returning for the second year.

“It’s been a great partnership,” Vivirito said.

GHA Executive Director Heather Reynolds agreed, saying the partnership has allowed the authority to offer an activity that will bring residents together.

“It’s been very nice to work with this group, because there are a lot of things that we can’t necessarily accomplish by ourselves,” Reynolds said. “Since I’ve been here one of my goals has been to make it more of a community and not just a place to live.”

“When you have events, you bring a community together and you get people out. Maybe you didn’t know your neighbor all the way down across the complex, but now you’ve gotten together and you’ve met somebody new, so then you have people that communicate more and it just becomes more of a community.”

Aside from providing an opportunity for residents throughout each of the GHA’s buildings to get to know one another, Reynolds, Vivirito, Terleckey and Kraemer said the movie events should be both fun and informative.

Terleckey said the goal is, “to get our message out there, do some community education and for people to enjoy themselves and have a nice night.”

“It’s fun with a purpose,” Reynolds added.

Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties Advancing Tobacco Free Communities will present a free screening of the film “Show Dogs” today at the DuBois Garden Apartment complex for residents at 7:30 p.m. on the lawn between building one and the administrative office. Residents should bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Snacks will be provided.

By Patricia Older

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