In a ceremony in Trenton, New Jersey on May 19, 2019, MFAS’ Voices of Valor program was recognized for its extraordinary service to the community with the 2019 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award for Public Service. In its 2018/19 New Jersey program, Voices of Valor has been offering programs to the veterans at Lyons Hospital, Lyons, NJ; Veteran’s Haven North, Glen Gardner, NJ; Veteran’s Haven South in Hammonton, NJ; and several other locations for the past eight years. The program pairs military veterans with professional musicians and psychology mentors in a nine-week session that helps veterans reintegrate into civilian life through group songwriting and recording. During this period the veterans share their experiences and work with the musicians to create the songs enabling the process of healing. In week eight, the songs are recorded in a studio, followed by a CD release party in week nine.
(Left) MFAS Artistic Director Rena Fruchter and Executive Director Brian Dallow at the ceremony in Trenton, NJ.