Painting shades of dignity: Mhahonors exceptional individuals
This will be the 18th consecutive year that the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Southeast Florida will honor exceptional people at its “Exceptional People Impacting the Community (EPIC) Awards Luncheon” May 15 at Signature Grand.
Chairing this year’s “EPIC Luncheon” are Tania Hamilton and Alana Segall.
Honorees are Kristine Carleson of Rebel Drop-In Center, Memorial Hospital; Kathy London of Children’s Diagnostic& Treatment Center; CurtisWalker of Taskforce Fore Ending Homelessness; and Gary Barg of Today’s Caregiver Magazine.
“What these very diverse and dedicated individuals have in common is their commitment to the public good, their efforts to improve the lives of citizens of our communities, and their advocacy for persons with mental illness,” said Paul Jaquith, president/CEO of MHA.
“EPIC” is a signature event forMHAand a prestigious recognition for honorees. Nominations are generated from the community by providers, professionals, advocates and persons served.
“Since its inception in 1996, over 100 individuals have received an EPIC award for their efforts to benefit the health and wellbeing of our community,” Jaquith added. Neither fame nor celebrity compels the award. Past Honorees include elected officials, professionals, persons receiving services and advocates for the cause.
Working with the chairs on the event are Chris Yoculan, Nicole Storrs and ShaneWeaver; as well as a large cast of volunteers.
Event sponsors are GEO Care, Brinkley-Morgan, Gulf Coast Family and Community Services, and Idelle and Larry Newburge.
Guests will have the opportunity to explore the services and programs offered at MHAthrough some imaginative interactive experiences. There will also be an exhibition of work by artists of MHA’s 9Muses Art Center, which will be for sale.
Proceeds of the event will benefit the programs and advocacy ofMHAincluding 9Muses Art Center, Thumbody Programs, Listen to Children, Parenting Education/Parent Support (PEPS), Family Voices and the SETH LineWarm Line. Proceeds of art sales will directly benefit artists of 9Muses.
The mission ofMHAis to promotemental health and victory over mental illness and related challenges through education, prevention, advocacy, research and empowerment. The vision is a society in which all people are accorded respect, dignity and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from stigma and prejudice.
MHArecently celebrated its 55th anniversary of serving the community. Board chairman Dr. Adam Rosenberg lauded the many community volunteers whomake the various programs and community outreach services possible. “When people visit our organization, they are amazed at the many programs we have.”
Tickets are $65 and can be ordered by callingMHAat 954-746-2055 or by visiting www.mhasefl.org.
ShaneWeaver, left, Rick Aldret and artist Trevor Bailey
Holding Thumbodies, a tool for the self-esteem program for young children, are Denneshia Spratt, left, Robin Sorkin, Lynn Britt and Helen Leitch.
Violet King, an artist at 9 Muses Art Center, which is a drop-in program themed on the arts in Lauderdhill, paints table centerpieces for the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida’s 18th annual "EPIC Awards Luncheon."
CurtisWalker, left, Gary Barg, Kristine Carleson and Paul Jaquith
Chris Yoculan, left, Caryn Botknecht and Kathy Leone
Idelle Newburge, left, Liz Meyers, Maud Pasquet and Dana Cahn
Table centerpieces, made by artists at 9 Muses Art Center, are sculpted and painted for the luncheon.