February 22, 2020
SHINE Initiative Gala Raises $140K, Beating Goal by $25K

October 19, 2019 — The SHINE Initiative, a Worcester nonprofit that works to improve mental health awareness, research, programming, and public policy in the fight against mental illness in children and young adults, announced that it raised $140,000 at its recent annual gala, surpassing its goal by $25,000.

The funds will support program expansion, including Mindmatters teams that empower students at 45 Massachusetts schools to become mental wellness advocates in their schools.

This year's event outpaced the $134,000 raised last year.

Two hundred 200 people attended the 13th annual Keep Your Mind Open gala at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on Oct. 10.

“This year’s Keep Your Mind Open Gala exceeded our fundraising expectations thanks largely to our guests responding to the timely message about the need to de-stigmatize mental health conditions in young people and embracing the mobile event platform provided by our partner, OneCause,” said Fred Kaelin, executive director of the SHINE Initiative.

New this year was the use of digital technology to raise funds, in which attendees gave their cell phone numbers at check in and were then able to donate via a phone app that was texted to them during the event.

The gala also featured held an auction-style request for donations to raise an additional $10,000.

Funds were also raised through ticket sales and auction items.

Gala sponsors included Bemis, Engineering & Data Solutions, Fidelity Bank, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Heywood Healthcare, Lisciotti Development, Nutter, Teraverde, and Worcester Railers.

Speaking at the event was Chamique Holdsclaw, who led the Tennessee Lady Vols to three NCAA Championships and won an Olympic gold medal. She shared her struggles with depression and how she has sought help and managed her own mental health.

The SHINE Initiative was founded by Fidelity Bank in 2004 to reduce the stigma of mental health conditions, end discrimination, and raise awareness and understanding about mental health conditions in children, adolescents, and young adults as a mainstream health issue.

Since 2013, The SHINE Initiative has engaged directly with 31,000 young people and the parents, teachers, and other adults who care for them through classroom presentations, teacher/staff trainings, and parent and community forums and conferences.

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