November 16, 2011
For Immediate Release

Contact: Julia Bey Ahmet
(973)-463-9600 x 303

Community Hope Founder Turns Over Reins to Co-Founder

After 26 Years of Leading Agency to Forefront of Serving Veterans and
Individuals with Mental Illness

Eileen Griffith   Marilyn Lukach

PARSIPPANY, N.J. - Carmela Lunt, recognized nationally as an advocate for individuals with mental illness, has retired from the Board of Directors after leading the agency she founded 26 years ago with a group of family members and mental health professionals. Ms. Lunt has been named President Emeritus as co-founder Eileen Griffith of Chester officially became President at this week’s Board of Directors meeting. Marilyn Lukach of Wharton, who has served on the Board for 12 years and previously chaired the agency’s nominating and dinner auction committees, was named Vice President.

"Eileen is one of the founding mothers who worked so hard to establish our first community residences and has helped lead our expansion from serving five individuals in 1985 to more than 300 today," said J. Michael Armstrong, Community Hope CEO. "She is as an impassioned advocate for all individuals affected by mental illness and a champion of our veterans."

Ms. Griffith is the current President of the Morris County Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). She previously served on the boards of NAMI-NJ and the Mental Health Association of Morris County. She is the Former President and Current Member of the Greystone Park (Hospital) Association and has volunteered at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital for the past 25 years. Ms. Griffith had served as a Court-appointed Monitor on the Doe vs. Klein Monitoring Committee and was a State Certified Site Reviewer for community mental health services facilities. Ms. Griffith is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the wife of a Korean War veteran.

Ms. Lukach is Senior Reference Librarian’s Assistant at Roxbury Public Library and Past President of the Board of Trustees of the Wharton Public Library. She was a columnist with The Daily Record, writing on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and is a retired nurse.

Community Hope’s Board of Directors is composed of 17 members from diverse professions and fields, including the banking, legal, business, financial and wealth management industries and members who are recognized advocates for veterans and individuals with mental illness.

Founded in 1985, Community Hope was created by mental health professionals and family members of young adults with mental illness in 1985 with the opening of a single residence serving five individuals. Today, the organization’s residential programs serve more than 300 individuals a day in recovery from mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse.

Our agency is also the lead charity serving homeless veterans and preventing homelessness for needy veteran families in New Jersey. In 2004, Community Hope opened the largest program in New Jersey and the Tri-State area for homeless veterans and continues expanding our veteran services, already having helped more than 500 veterans rebuild their lives.