SARASOTA, FL – Sunshine from Darkness – a subsidiary of the Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation – has hired its first-ever full-time executive director, longtime nonprofit professional Marlene Hauck. In this role, she will serve as the primary spokesperson for the cause, oversee strategic planning and implementation, planning and budgeting, and areas including fundraising, marketing and communications, event oversight, and board engagement and relations.
The mission of Sunshine from Darkness is to raise awareness of mental health and addiction disorders, and erase the stigma of both.
“The mental health crisis is only growing in our community and the country,” said Hauck. “I am looking forward to devoting my professional energies to raising funds for local mental health and addiction disorder services and brain research. Through Sunshine from Darkness, we can maximize local attention on and support for important work already in progress.”
Hauck has 30 years’ experience in fundraising, donor and community relations, client and vendor relations. She has worked in the nonprofit realm for more than 25 years, with 10 years of leadership experience for two nonprofits. She served on the board of directors of Coastal Behavioral Healthcare and made the transition to director of marketing and development for First Step of Sarasota when Coastal and First Step merged in 2020.
Other organizations Hauck has worked for include the Longboat Key Center for the Arts and Suncoast Children’s Charities.
Hauck has served on the planning committee/event coordinator – on a volunteer basis – for Sunshine from Darkness since 2019, when Jeffrey Peterson, the son of Lee and Bob Peterson and president of their namesake foundation, reinvigorated the Inspiring Hope Dinner and Journey to Wellness Symposium, events first conceived and presented by his parents. Over the course of 13 years, through Sunshine from Darkness, the Petersons raised over $5 million and served as champions for research, treatment, education and efforts to erase the stigma of living with mental illness.
“Through Marlene’s career service to the nonprofit community and her previous work with Sunshine from Darkness, I have seen first-hand her commitment and dedication to those whose lives have been impacted by mental illness,” said Peterson. “We must stop the adverse outcomes and the economic cost of untreated mental illness, we must move brain research to the forefront of funding, and we must fund mental health and addiction services, right here in our community. I am thrilled that Marlene has signed on in a full-time role to help us achieve those goals.”
In November of 2021, the Inspiring Hope Dinner raised more than $170,000 benefiting the local mental health and addiction programs and services of First Step of Sarasota, and cutting-edge research funded by The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
Sunshine from Darkness was founded as a subsidiary of and is underwritten by the Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation. To learn more, visit sunshinefromdarkness.org.
About Sunshine from Darkness
Sunshine from Darkness is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to raising funds for mental health research and local charities that provide mental health and addiction disorder services in the Sarasota community. Founded as a subsidiary of the Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation, Sunshine from Darkness hosts events that serve educational and fundraising purposes. The mission of Sunshine from Darkness is to raise awareness of mental health and addiction disorders and erase the stigma of both. For more information, visit sunshinefromdarkness.org.