On May 3, 138 people were part of the 3rd annual Community Block Party! Guests gathered at the Lagunitas Brewing Room for an evening of festivities, food and fun. While building community and breaking down stigma surrounding mental health,
participants banded together to raise money for those who cannot afford quality mental health care.
To kick off the evening, guests enjoyed an on tap selection of Lagunitas beer and a variety of local wines. Appetizers were served while guests purchased raffle tickets. Lucky winners went home with prizes such as a one week stay at a private beach house, a “cellar” of assorted wines, a “Summer Fun” package, and a stash of cash! Two local food trucks, Koi Fusion and Home Plate Sliders, provided the main entrées. And last but not least, New Seasons provided delicious banana cake and assorted cupcakes for dessert.
Later that evening, guests heard from NCC executive director, Erin Peters, reminding the group that Oregon is ranked nearly last in the country for access to mental health services.
There is a great need for mental health care – but many times people cannot afford it, or have a mental block due to all of the surrounding stigma. Unfortunately there are still many barriers for people getting the life changing and life saving mental health services they need and deserve. There is, however, hope. In April, newsrooms all over the state partnered together to spread awareness about suicide in a project called Breaking the Silence. May was Mental Health Awareness Month – a month dedicated to destigmatizing mental illness and spreading stories of hope and healing. The Block Party itself was a chance for the group to rally around NCC’s mission to provide mental health care to the marginalized and underserved in our community.
In addition to monetary support, guests were asked to educate the people around them – to normalize mental illness and encourage people to seek help when they need it.
In total, over $40,000 was raised to provide professional mental health care to the financially fragile in our community!
A huge thank you to the event sponsors, Alpha Media, Magnacorp, and Glen and Monet Rubin, and to the many individual donors who gave! Every dollar will go directly to cover the costs of counseling for those who have previously and unjustly been denied access to mental health services.
As inspiration to continue NCC’s work in mental health, Julie Rowland, board chair, shared the poem “Sending Forth Compassion” by renowned poet Sr. Joyce Rupp:
As I stand at the entrance of the dark night
I open my heart to send forth compassion
to those whose body or mind knows pain
to all whom the nighttime brings burden, not rest.
Through the work at NCC, board, staff, volunteers, and allies hope to continue sending forth compassion to all who walk through the doors. Without generous and caring supporters, this vital and life-changing mental health work would not happen. Thank you for being part of the NCC Community.
Miss the Event? Watch Some Block Party Videos!
Looking for Block Party Photos?
We have pictures from the event posted on Flickr – thanks to Cynthia Ryan for volunteering her photography skills!