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.
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 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.”