One for All, All for One
The three musketeers have nothing on a trio of longtime St. Ann Center clients who know the meaning and power of true friendship.
“We’re not only friends, we’re brothers,” said Vinnie Massalongo of the relationship he’s developed with Terry Lenz and Barry Kress over the past nine years. “There’s a reason God put these guys in my life. I’d do anything for them—in a heartbeat.”
The trio’s bond runs deep. “When I started coming here, I was still recovering from a brain aneurysm, and everything in life was different,” Vinnie said, remembering his nervousness and fear. “Terry took me under his wing and made me feel comfortable and welcome.”
Barry experienced the same warm reception. “I’m of the Jewish faith, and I wasn’t sure I belonged here,” he said. “But these guys accepted me. They’ve always been there for me. I firmly believe when you share bad times, they’re half as bad, and when you share good times, they’re twice as good.”
If you’re looking for these close-knit clients, just listen for the laughter. “We’re clowns and proud of it,” Terry said. When they’re not cracking jokes, they’re discussing everything from the Brewers to paleontology (Barry’s avocation) to the latest project lead CNA Rosemarie Alloway has them working on. “We love her like a mom,” Vinnie said.
The men’s friendship extends to their families, too. Terry’s wife has met his St. Ann Center buddies. And Vinnie requested a special favor of Barry. “I asked if he’d be my daughter’s honorary godfather,” he said. “It’s a good feeling knowing if she needs advice, she can go to her Uncle Barry.”
Among the many things these guys have in common, one is their love for St. Ann Center’s children. They’ve even taken to telling the kids fairytales—with a twist. “Have you heard Little Red Riding Hood was the bridesmaid when her granny married the woodsman in a wedding officiated by the wolf, who was an ordained minister?” Barry asked. “Now, that’s our kind of story.”