SARASOTA, FL – Sunshine from Darkness – a subsidiary of the Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation – recently hosted a donor appreciation party to thank those who supported last fall’s Inspiring Hope Dinner as well as to update guests on planned activities this coming year. Approximately 60 were in attendance, including sponsors of the 2021 dinner, supporters of the nonprofit, and representatives from organizations who work in the mental health realm.
The welcome and introductory remarks were made by Sarah Karp and Taylor Karp Teymuri, who co-chaired the dinner last year and will serve as the co-chairs of the dinner committee for the 2023 Inspiring Hope Dinner, which is scheduled for January 13. The sisters noted that Florida ranks 50th in the country in mental health services and has the third-highest percentage of mentally ill individuals who are also uninsured. They also cited a Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation study that found the annual economic cost of untreated mental illness for children and young adults in Sarasota County is at least $86.2 million.
Sunshine from Darkness executive director Marlene Hauck announced that the keynote speaker for the 2023 dinner would be Tony and two-time Grammy Award-winning actress and singer, Jennifer Holliday, who will not only share her story of overcoming depression but will also perform. She also announced the honorees who will be receiving the Lee and Bob Peterson Legacy Award during the dinner: Joan and Bob Geyer, the founders of The Academy at Glengary. The Academy is a place where those with mental health challenges receive vocational training and where opportunities for skill development, friendship, and employment are the means by which Academy members pursue their goals and dreams.
Sarasota County School Board member / Sunshine from Darkness board member Tom Edwards then announced the beneficiaries of the 2023 dinner: Harvest House and Teen Court of Sarasota Inc. Harvest House CEO Erin Minor and Teen Court board president Katy McBrayer made brief remarks about their respective organizations and affirmed their commitment to improving mental health care in our community.
The event also featured brief remarks by Carrie Seidman, founder of FACEing Mental Illness, and her business partner/podcast co-producer Laura Randall. FACEing Mental Illness – a platform through which individuals with lived mental health experience can share their stories, through articles and podcasts – will soon make its home on the Sunshine from Darkness website.
The 2023 dinner will be chaired by neuropsychologist Amie Austin, PhD. 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.
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.