Marty Hauhuth Moves In Positive Directions

In the next month, several pillars of Westport life — men and women who for decades have made this place special — will retire: Westport Library director Maxine Bleiweis. Staples principal John Dodig. Parks & Rec head Stuart McCarthy.

Add one more name to the list: Marty Hauhuth.

She may not be as well known — though Westporters of a certain age remember her as first selectman from 1985-89.

Marty Hauhuth

Marty Hauhuth

For the past 24 years, she’s served as the low-key — but highly effective — executive director of Positive Directions. That’s the non-profit providing mental health and addiction counseling, alcohol and substance abuse education and prevention, and support programs in Westport, Weston, Wilton and Fairfield.

Positive Directions serves anyone, of any age — regardless of ability to pay — with evaluations and referrals. It treats anxiety, depression, and addictive and destructive behaviors of all kinds.

One of Marty’s last projects was a survey of all Westport students grades 7-12, and their parents. It showed that — in large part due to her efforts —

  • Tobacco, alcohol and marijuana youth use has steadily declined since 2000
  • “Past 30-day use of alcohol” has decreased dramatically in grades 7-10
  • From 2011-14, Westport youth “early use of alcohol” has decreased substantially
  • Westport youth marijuana use has declined, and overall use is lower than in some neighboring towns.

Positive DirectionsMarty was a founding member of Positive Youth Development, a Westport coalition that arms parents and youngsters with information to make good choices — and counseling for those who struggle.

Positive Directions celebrates Marty’s contributions (and retirement) on Wednesday, June 3 (4:30-6:30 p.m., Saugatuck Congregational Church  Fellowship  Room).

Other honors include a tribute book (click “Comments” below and add stories and accolades, or mail to Positive Directions, 420 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880), and contributions in her name to the organization (click here).

Marty downplays her role in Positive Directions. But, she admits, “I look forward to the celebration. I hope to see a lot of friends there.”

The nicest gift she could get, she says, is “to come visit and support Positive Directions.”

8 responses to “Marty Hauhuth Moves In Positive Directions

  1. How much the town has changed! When Marty spoke at the last RTM meeting she had to introduce herself. I guess we know we’re getting old when we talk about “Jo,” “Betty Lou” and “Diane” and need to add their last names and why we know them so the newer community will know who they are.

  2. Loretta Santella Hallock

    So very true. Other names such as Len Rovins, Ned Dimes should not be forgotten! I had the honor of working for Marty. Great Lady!!

  3. Lynn Abramson

    Thanks Dan, for such a lovely and well-deserved tribute to Marty. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate her and all she has accomplished for Positive Directions and the larger community.

    We are also grateful to the other members of our community who are joining us in honoring Marty by donating to Positive Directions. (Special thanks go to Lee Papageorge of Oscar’s Deli for donating food for the celebration!)

    As Marty told our Board last night, the positive results you cited from the most recent Westport surveys truly validate the collaborative efforts spearheaded by Positive Directions. She also reminded us that while there is much to be proud of, the survey results also highlight areas where there is more to be accomplished.

    Perhaps even more impressive than the survey results, are the lives that have been changed by Positive Directions’ exceptional counselors during Marty’s tenure. Marty reflected on her upcoming retirement, “Most of all, I will miss seeing the people who have come to us recover and thrive. We’ve helped thousands in the 24 years I’ve been at Positive Directions. Knowing that makes everything worthwhile.”

    Please join us in honoring Marty next Wednesday, June 3, from 4:30 – 6:30 in Fellowship Hall at the Saugatuck Congregational Church. (RSVP to info@positivedirections.org)

    Lynn Abramson
    Board President
    Positive Directions

  4. Kris Schultz

    Thanks Dan for the wonderful words about my Mom. We are proud to call her our Mom.

  5. Andy Kaplan

    We are so fortunate to have Marty in our town. Over many, many years, Marty’s “positive” efforts have helped our community.

  6. don l bergmann

    Marty Hauhuth was a terrific First Selectwoman and continued to contribute in so many ways following her years in that office. Her energy, enthusiasm and vision were evident to all those with whom she worked.
    Don Bergmann

  7. Sheila Smith O;Connor

    Martie
    Mark sent me the announcement and I was thrilled to see it. Congratulations on your NGO and political history achievements. Would love to see you-possibley a Savannah visit???

  8. Sue Schlapp

    Congratulations. We are proud of you once again
    Your sister Sue