Caroline "Bunny" Fazekas is a founding volunteer with The Gathering Place (TGP), a drop-in day center for adults in Brunswick. Launched in 2011, it is for anyone seeking a warm, safe place for caring interaction with other adults. Typically 40 to 70 individuals enjoy TGP each service day.
Bunny was among the caring faith community members who worked to create TGP; she brings her experience and training as a Peer Support Specialist at Sweetser Learning and Recovery Center and has shared it with a cadre of 50-60 other volunteers. Watching a group of individuals around a table playing a game, it is often difficult to know who is a guest and who is a volunteer. Bunny has been instrumental in creating this sense of community that is the hallmark of TGP, and her openness, accessibility and loving demeanor make her a favorite.
The Gathering Place is a model currently being considered by two other Mid-Coast towns as they look for solutions to similar community needs. Bunny knows how to connect people with resources, is skillful in responding to emotional and mental health issues, and is forthcoming in sharing her knowledge and insight with her colleagues. Bunny is extremely energetic: she keeps the coffee pot full, washes dishes, works the puzzles, teaches quilting, has a reading group... and consults on housing problems, family difficulties and medical concerns.
People around her remark on her distinct humility. According to Bill Moody, "I have seen Bunny be friend, mother, and confidant. She does so much good in so many small ways it cannot be counted. If more people were like her, what a wonderful world it would be."