Councilmember Bob Ferguson (l) accepting award SMH Board Chair Paula Janson (l) with award winners
from SMH CEO David Stone Laurel and John Nesholm
Sixth Annual Fundraiser Successful Thanks to Supporters, New and Current
Despite one of the most lengthy economic recessions in recent years, a generous community of staff, elected officials and mental health advocates rallied to support Sound Mental Health programs during the sixth annual Mental Health Matters gala and fundraiser. Netting more than $120,000, the event exceeded expectations and enabled the organization to continue supporting its clients in need.
“The power of Sound Mental Health’s message still resonated with people,” said Gayle Johnson, SMH chief development officer. “We were very pleased by the turnout and the generous donations our attendees made.”
Johnson noted that a larger-than-expected showing by many new and first time donors helped the organization raise funds this year, all of which go to support Sound Mental Health’s pioneering social service programs. These include services for at-risk children, supportive housing initiatives for war veterans and programs for survivors of domestic violence, among others.
The evening’s highlights included messages of hope from three individuals served by Sound Mental Health. Janette Lauve, grandmother of a six-year-old client, shared her story with the audience, while peer specialists Patrick Ciminera and Cynthia Gonzales - themselves past clients - mesmerized the audience of nearly 400 with their stories of hope and recovery.
As it does each year, Sound Mental Health presented the Booth Gardner Community Mental Health Awards, its highest distinction, to King County Councilmember, Bob Ferguson and the Nesholm Family Foundation. Mr. Ferguson has been a lifelong champion for mental health causes and, in 2007, he spearheaded legislation that expanded mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court programs in the county.
The Nesholm Family Foundation over the years has demonstrated support for mental health programs and has made Sound Mental Health the recipient of generous grants to keep its programs thriving.
The award is named after former Washington state Gov. Booth Gardner, founder of Sound Mental Health.
The Seattle Channel’s C.R. Douglas, Emmy-nominated host of City Inside/Out, served capably again as the event’s master of ceremonies, while Sound Mental Health board member, Mylene Barizo, reached out to attendees, with the “ask.” Those unable to attend the event, but wish to donate to the organization should visit our donation page.
Event sponsors included Genoa Healthcare, AstraZeneca, Puget Sound Business Journal, Muckleshoot Casino, Enterprise, Bennett Bigelow & Leedom, Coldwell Banker, Lilly, Waxie Sanitary Supply, Alpha Supported Living Services, Linn, Schisel & DeMarco, PS, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle Children’s, Keeney’s Office Supply, McCullough Hill PS, a&a printing, inc. and ThinkAlike.