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Preparing to Celebrate 50 Years!

One of Western New York’s leading non-clinical mental health agencies, Compeer, is preparing to celebrate 50 years of providing support through the healing power of friendship.

Celebrating decades of mentorship to individuals who experience mental health challenges, Compeer is calling for additional support to continue its life-changing mission.
BUFFALO (October 10, 2022) – Compeer is gearing up to celebrate a momentous anniversary – 50 years of providing social support and friendship to individuals through the healing power of friendship and connection!
Compeer’s purpose is to promote mental wellness through supportive one-to-one volunteer friendships for individuals of all ages experiencing a mental health challenge. Founded by Bernice “Bunny” Skirboll in 1973, Compeer now spans the globe and serves, on average, 2,000 individuals each year, as they move through their mental health journey. Compeer primarily serves youth, adults and veterans and spans the globe with 40 affiliates worldwide, including Canada, the UK and Australia.
Newly appointed CEO, Cheri Alvarez, MS, leads the charge – having stepped into this role in July.  As the former COO for five years, Cheri is now responsible for overseeing operations and growth of the organization, including a focus on increased brand recognition, continuing to grow affiliates, and most importantly meeting the mental health needs of our community.
“My goal in leading Compeer is to build on the achievements of the past 49 years, and to take Compeer to the next level, while making positive differences for individuals striving for mental well-being,” says Alvarez. “I look forward to growing the impact and influence of Compeer in the Western New York community and recruiting more volunteers to support this goal.”
Skirboll says her idea to start this life-changing cause decades ago was to bring the simple promise of friendship into the complex field of mental health.
“Celebrating our Anniversary is an exciting milestone,” exclaims Skirboll. “Compeer is as relevant, maybe more so now, than when it came into existence in the mid-70s. It focuses a lot more on prevention, and the importance of intervening in the early stages of treatment because we all deserve support not just in our triumphs, but also our struggles.”
With World Mental Health Day celebrated on October 10th and Compeer’s upcoming 50th anniversary, Compeer is stepping into these celebrations with limitless opportunities for growth and success. Compeer depends on the generosity of our community and is welcoming new volunteers and funders, as both are critically needed. Anyone who wishes to support is encouraged to contact:
Rijaa Kahn
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Cheri Alvarez, MS
New Affiliates:
Amanda Mantino
Affiliate Engagement Coordinator

To arrange interviews with Compeer and those they support, contact Media Consultant Kate Glaser of Hope Rises Network at hello@hoperisesnews.com or 716.807.5523. Kate can handle setting up personalized stories for all interested media.