V President Jean Yentile
Treasurer Merry Eldridge
R Secretary Sue Scofield
C Secretary Stefanie Alpert
Board of Directors 2022-2024
Meet our new President, Joie Gerrish.
“I have been a resident of Wakefield my entire life. I attended Greenwood School as a youngster, Atwell Junior High as a tween, and Wakefield High School Grades 9-12, as did my children. I have been an active citizen in many aspects of our community over the years.
Two of my most profound opportunities to volunteer have enriched my life and I hope those of the lives I’ve touched.
In 2002 I joined the Wakefield Adult Mentor program (WAM) serving at all levels at our local school system and the NE Voke. To this day I still “mentor” and am a “Big Sister” to Sophia whom I met as a second-grade student at the Dolbeare School 9 years ago. She will graduate from Lynnfield HS next June with honors. There are amazing back stories to this journey.
In 2008 Bob and Merry Eldridge encouraged me to join them in the WAAV program. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family atmosphere, I was interested in learning more about how to help those in the similar circumstances. WAAV seemed like a great opportunity to do so. And here I am now, President of WAAV for the next two years, leading with a much deeper understanding and knowledge of the importance of providing help, resources, and encouragement to those experiencing and or living in unhealthy relationships. No one deserves to live with violence, abuse, or fear. This being exactly what we at WAAV strive to diminish.”
Meet Jean Haladay Yentile, Vice President
“I joined Wakefield Alliance Against Violence in 2017 and was appointed Vice President in June 2022.
Joining WAAV is personal for me, as a mother and grandmother. I am passionate about supporting an organization that helps people in need or in crisis. I am one that truly loves working with people. Most importantly, I am proud of the work we do implementing programs within the Wakefield public schools teaching students in our community the core values of relationships and how to respect ourselves and others. Bringing awareness to others and sharing information is fundamental to guiding our youth. I feel strongly that educating our youth is vital in their choices to make healthy decisions.
I think it is extremely important to educate others. I started with educating myself by exploring the fundamental differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships. My journey started with being open minded, reading books, attending events, speaking with others and learning from their stories. There are so many resources that are available in our community to help guide those in crisis. You are not alone.
I have witnessed domestic violence and the affect it has on the lives of loved ones. My goal and mission are to make a difference and to help others in need. WAAV is such a valuable resource for assisting victims to make one feel safe, welcomed, and supported. I am very honored to be part of an organization with a mission focused on awareness, education, and prevention of domestic violence.
Working together with the Town Departments of Wakefield, to achieve a safe place to live and to not live in fear, motivates me every day. We need to break the cycle of domestic violence. In a world where you can be anything, BE KIND.”
Meet Merry Eldridge, Treasurer.
“I officially became a member of WAAV in March, 2016; however, I had been involved behind the scenes, as my husband, Bob, was one of the founding members when WAAV began in 2007. He also served as President for five years before I joined and during that time there were many times I was needed to help out; i.e., preparing agendas and getting it to the secretary for distribution, typing emails, helping to build and install signs for “Stories For A Safer Wakefield,” etc. When WAAV needed a Treasurer and Bob thought they might have to hire someone to fill that position, I offered my assistance and it was then that my involvement became official.
Knowing that WAAV is such a valuable resource for those at risk and that over the years WAAV has helped so many who find themselves in a violent situation has given me a good feeling and a reason to be involved. The bottom line is that there are many people in our town that find themselves at risk for domestic violence and for me being a part of WAAV is the right thing to do.
Meet Sue Scofield, Secretary.
“The mission of Wakefield Alliance Against Violence is to support and educate, whether it is someone struggling with domestic violence or educating about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. WAAV supports and educates by working with the Wakefield Police and the Wakefield Public Schools through various programs.
I have lived in Wakefield for many years, raised my two children here and worked full time. Fortunately my life has not been touched by domestic violence but that’s not true for so many. And in 2019 I decided to volunteer with Wakefield Alliance Against Violence as a way to give back in a small way. It is an honor to be a part of an organization that strives to make other people’s lives better.”
Meet our Corresponding Secretary, Stefanie Alpert
“I became a member of WAAV during the pandemic so it’s been a little less than a year. Before becoming a member, I ran the road race several times thanks to the suggestion of a co-member, and my friend and neighbor, Catherine Dhingra.
WAAV is important to me because I believe the mission of ending domestic violence to be so important in our community. It’s not an easy topic for victims to talk about and the fact that WAAV gives them a place to turn is an incredible resource. I hope to be able to make a difference, and an impact no matter how big or small through my involvement with WAAV.”