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John Nickulas came to Victory Programs in 2003 in desperate need of help with his addiction and has been
a valued supporter ever since. As an alum, John stays involved by making monetary and in-kind
contributions, attending annual events and spreading awareness about Victory Programs’ services. Last year,
John participated as a server at our annual Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner, raising more than $2,000 in
TIPS. In 2013, he acted as the emcee at our annual Gratitude Dinner, sharing his personal victories with staff,
clients and other alumni. “I know first-hand the importance of Victory Programs being there when people are
in need, which is why I chose to give to VPI,” he says. We are so grateful to John for all of his support over
the years and serving as an inspiration to all of our clients.
Tom White and Patricia Troy
Tom White and Patricia Troy were introduced to Victory Programs through Tom’s brother Bobbie White.
In the 1980s, Bobbie was among the first advocates for addicts with HIV/AIDS in the Boston area.
Bobbie was also a great educator and inspiration to everyone working in the field of recovery and HIV.
Bobbie passed away in 1991. According to Tom, “Bobbie’s dream was to have a place where people
with AIDS could go without being shunned. We are glad to support an excellent organization like
Victory Programs that continues to offer supportive services to the individuals living with HIV and to
those facing addiction.” In 1981, Victory House was one of the first recovery homes in Massachusetts
to accept clients living with HIV/AIDS. Today, Victory Programs’ Bobbie White Housing Services—made
up of Cedar Family Home, Ruah House, and Robert McBride House—offer permanent supportive housing
to people living with HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the vision and dedication of individuals like Bobbie and to the
continued support of individuals like Tom and Pat, Victory Programs is able keep Bobbie’s dream alive.
Yumi Yasutake Suarez
Yumi Yasutake Suarez worked at Victory Programs’ Boston Living Center more than ten
years ago when she was new to fundraising. Today, Yumi is a seasoned fundraising
professional at MIT and a mother of a beautiful daughter. Yumi feels lucky to have had
the opportunity to work at the BLC and still feels a special attachment to the community
there. According to Yumi, “the BLC offers a wonderful support system to the members
for their daily needs and far beyond. The non-judgmental atmosphere at the BLC is a
sanctuary for those who have been shunned by society because of their HIV status.”
Yumi remembers being friends with many members when she worked there.
Since the BLC is a philanthropic priority for Yumi and her family, over the years, she has continued supporting the BLC with a
monthly commitment through our Cornerstone Partner Program. Being a monthly donor, she does not have to worry about
forgetting to send in her gift and is happy that the BLC can count on her support.
She believes that in spite of the increased life spans due to medical breakthroughs, the BLC still plays a crucial role in the
lives of HIV+ individuals. The BLC’s merger with Victory Programs gives Yumi the confidence that her donation will be used
wisely. We are truly grateful to Yumi for her support over the years.
In the 1990s, Manny Correia attended a United Way breakfast meeting where Victory Programs’ President
& CEO Jonathan Scott was giving a speech. He remembers being particularly taken by Victory Programs’
dedication to offering services to individuals with dual diagnosis—facing both addiction and mental health
He has been involved with the agency ever since, serving on the Board of Directors for ten years, as Board
Chair for three years, and he has introduced many friends and colleagues to Victory Programs’ work. His
work with Victory Programs has had a profound effect on his professionally—making him a better manager
at his company, Inclusive Coaching—and personally. Through Victory Programs, he has been made aware
that addiction can affect any of us at any time, and as a society we have to be there for one another.
Manny is a Cornerstone Partner, our monthly giving program, because he knows that Victory programs has
a strong infrastructure in place and is certain that his donation will be used wisely.
A former board member, current volunteer and recent Cornerstone Partner, Brian Gerhardson
has been committed to Victory Programs’ mission for many years. Having lost many friends
to HIV/AIDS in the 80s, Brian was moved by the critical role the Boston Living Center has
played in helping HIV positive individuals. Brian, a financial advisor, is fortunate enough to
have a successful business and feels a strong desire to help others as a result. “It only
seems right to share my success,” he says. As a monthly donor, Brian is part of our
Cornerstone Partner program. When he’s not working hard at his business or volunteering
his time, Brian is an avid runner having participated in the Boston Marathon 12 times and
looks forward to running again in 2014.