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As posted in The Beacon 3/29/2015

By Sandra J. Pennecke


March 29, 2015


Team Fairfield ran in this year’s Shamrock Half Marathon for several reasons, but the main one was to help others.

The team, which consists of four employees from Fairfield Psychological Associates, initially decided to run the 8K at the Oceanfront on March 21 because they were looking for a way to exercise.

"The ladies in the office started talking about doing the Shamrock and exercising more," said Gary Rotfus, a licensed clinical social worker in the practice.

"I said, ’If you all are going to do it, then I need to do it, too,’ " said Rotfus, a self-proclaimed exercise fanatic.

From there, the group felt they wanted to raise money for a good cause, too.

Rotfus did his research and came across the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington.

"They operate on a shoestring budget and run solely off of donations," said Rotfus.

According to its website, the Treatment Advocacy Center is a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating legal and other barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness.

Founded in 1998, the center works to help people who may otherwise become homeless, hospitalized or incarcerated due to their disease.

"There are numerous heart-wrenching stories," said Rotfus. "And I like the idea that we can help a nonprofit organization."

So did the other Team Fairfield members: Fairfield’s office manager Rita Wanamaker,  Laura Smith, front office; and Erin Case, licensed clinical social worker.

While all have participated in runs before, this was the first time at the Shamrock.

Case’s husband, Jesse, and their 17-year-old daughter, Taylor, along with office manager’s friend, Llana Giagnacovo, also joined Team Fairfield.

They made up T-shirts with their logo on the front and the Treatment Advocacy Center’s logo on the back. Plans are under way to participate in one race each month and to continue to raise money for the center.


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