Sarasota, Florida – April 26, 2019 – Jeffrey Peterson, son of Sunshine From Darkness founders Lee and Bob Peterson, has announced his plans to bring Sunshine From Darkness back to the forefront of the mental health research funding and direct services community. The non-profit organization will launch its renewed efforts with a pair of special events – The Journey to Wellness Symposium and the Inspiring Hope Dinner – on Saturday, March 14, 2020, to raise both awareness and funds for local mental health causes.
“Our mission is to continue the work of my parents and fund local non-profits who provide services for those suffering from mental health disorders and substance abuse,” said Jeffrey Peterson. “Their efforts have helped equip new generations to train for and pursue the ultimate goal of preventing and curing mental illness, while bringing awareness that mental illness is a brain disorder and the benefits of treatment are real and life-changing.”
The Journey to Wellness Symposium is free and open to the public, scheduled from 9:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Van Wezel Grand Foyer.
The Inspiring Hope Dinner will take place that same evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, and will feature speakers Steve Ford, actor, mental health advocate and son of former President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford; Kathy Cronkite, mental health advocate, author and daughter of broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite; and Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of “Life Animated.”
The Inspiring Hope Dinner will also present the organization’s inaugural Lee and Bob Peterson Luminary Award to both Steve Ford and Kathy Cronkite. Ron Suskind will receive the Lee and Bob Peterson Advocacy Award. This special event will raise funds to benefit direct mental health and addiction services provided by Coastal Behavioral Health, whose programs serve more than 7,000 local children, adolescents, adults, seniors and families where they are needed.
Sunshine From Darkness was founded in 1998. Over a course of 13 years, the organization raised over $5 million and served as a champion for research, treatment, education and efforts to erase the stigma of living with mental illness. Notably, the organization contributed substantially to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, which has provided nearly $400 million in grants to more than 4,700 scientists in more than 550 institutions around the world.
About Sunshine From Darkness
Sunshine from Darkness is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of mental illness and brain disorders. The organization was formed in Sarasota under the leadership of Lee and Bob Peterson as NARSAD-Florida in 1998. The mission of the organization is to raise awareness of mental illness and raise funds for research through special events and educational forums. For more information, call 941-504-6717.
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