The following article was written on the CMHA York-Simcoe website BEFORE the Nov 22 event:
Mental Health Fundraiser at Heintzman House
By jyuen On November 7, 2013
The telephone rang at York Region resident Ingrid Taheri’s house. Just another telemarketing call she thought and let it ring into voice mail. When she listened to the message a couple of hours later, she was amazed to find that the message was actually from Caroline Yli-Luoma, the owner of Dagmar Ski Resort. Caroline had called to respond to Ingrid’s email request for donations for a silent auction to be held at her November 22 fundraiser for mental health. Seeing the connection between healthy outdoor activity and mental well-being, Caroline contributed a family season pass for the popular ski resort worth over $2,000 plus six booklets of coupons worth $50 each.
Ingrid’s fundraiser will be held at the Heintzman House, where she says a similar community event was held for years with the funds donated to a cancer charity. In reviving the event, Ingrid chose mental health as her charitable cause because several of her family members have experienced mental health challenges. So she decided to contribute the evening’s proceedings to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) National and CMHA York Region and South Simcoe. ”Every cloud has a silver lining, so we try to turn it into something good,” she says.
The event is a community effort. Some talented young people Ingrid met while volunteering with the North York Music Festival will be performing light classical music at the event with trumpet, violin and guitar instrumentals. Her neighbour will also play DJ supplying pop, rock, and contemporary tunes. Ingrid’s neighbours are also pitching in to make finger foods including sandwiches which will be served along with coffee donated by Second Cup and a fruit tray contributed by Longos. There will be also be a cash bar. Two members of the community have volunteered to speak about their own experiences with mental health issues.
Since that first exciting donation, Ingrid has been overwhelmed by the business community’s generosity and is working 14-hour days to keep up. Contributions for the silent auction include two golf foursomes at the Toronto Ladies Club and Thornhill Golf Club; gift certificates for the Miller Tavern , Terra, Santos and Il Fornello; chocolates from Purdys; products from Arbonne, Shoppers Drug Mart and the Body Shop; gym and swim club memberships; personal training sessions; a yoga starter kit from Lululemon; and gift certificates for yoga classes, Uplands ski club and Silver City. Even a Swizz watch has been donated.
Tickets are still available through Eventbrite. Contributions for the silent auction are also still welcome. Ingrid is hoping to raise a minimum of $5,000.
Ingrid hopes that people will attend the event and be inspired. She says, “The more we talk about it, the more we realize we are not alone. Please help us take away some of the stigma and bring awareness to the issue so that others will also be able to find help.”
The stories and the speeches were so touching and I nearly cried.