Jennifer Holliday to headline Sunshine From Darkness fundraiser
The 2023 Inspiring Hope Dinner will raise money for HarvestHouse and Teen Court of Sarasota, and cutting-edge research funded by The Brain& Behavior Research Foundation
SARASOTA, FL – Sunshine From Darkness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the funding of local mental health and addiction services and programs and mental health research, has announced its annual fundraising dinner on Friday,January 13, 2023 at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.
This year’s Inspiring Hope Dinner, themed “Shining a Light on Mental Illness,” will feature Grammy, Drama Desk and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Jennifer Holliday. The original star of “Dreamgirls” will perform at the event, and will also share the story of her own struggles with depression and multiple sclerosis.
Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the local mental health services of Harvest House and Teen Court of Sarasota as well as the cutting-edge research funded by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
The event will begin with a VIP sponsor cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by the dinner program for all guests at 7:30 p.m. Event chair is Amie Austin, Ph.D., and event committee chairs are Sarah Karp and Taylor Karp Teymuri.
In addition to Holliday, this year’s dinner will feature dancing to the music of Quintessence, and a performance by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Young Artists Ensemble. During the festivities, the Lee and Bob Peterson Legacy Award will be presented to Joan and Bob Geyer of the Academy at Glengary.
Sunshine from Darkness President Jeffrey Peterson noted that he is once again grateful for the community’s support and recognition of the important work being done by organizations such as Harvest House, Teen Court of Sarasota and The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
“We are so grateful to have a star of Jennifer Holliday’s caliber to help us shed light on the importance of the work we do to make a difference in the lives of those battling mental illness and addiction disorders,” Peterson said. “Her story of dealing with depression will inspire our guests; by sharing personal stories publicly, it reduces the stigma associated with mental illness for all who are suffering.”
Jennifer Holiday is an iconic American actress and singer. She started her career on Broadway in musicals such as “Dreamgirls” and “Your Arms Too Short to Box with God.” She later became a successful recording artist, best known for her debut single, a rhythm-and-blues number from “Dreamgirls,” “And I amTelling You I’m Not Going,” for which she won a Grammy in 1983. She also won the 1982 Tony Award for her star turn in “Dreamgirls.”
The sold-out 2021 Inspiring Hope Dinner raised more than $170,000 to benefit local mental health and addiction programs and research funded by The Brain& Behavior Research Foundation. Organizers hope to raise $250,000 through the 2023 dinner.
Tickets are $325; numerous sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Marlene Hauck (941-504-6717 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit sunshinefromdarkness.org.
PHOTO ID: 2023 Inspiring Hope Dinner keynote speaker and performer, Jennifer Holliday
SunshineFrom Darkness is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for local charities that provide health and addiction disorder services in the Sarasota community and funding cutting-edge mental health research. Founded as a subsidiary of the Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation,Sunshine From Darkness hosts major events throughout the year that bring mental health and addiction awareness and education to the forefront of the community, providing professionals and philanthropists with the opportunity to engage with the broader mental health community. Its mission is to raise awareness of mental health and addiction disorders and erase the stigma of both. Sunshine From Darkness is committed to providing resources, education and advocacy for those who have mental health and addiction challenges.
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to breakthroughs in scientific research. Since 1987, the foundation has awarded more than $430 million, funding more than 6,200 grants to more than 5,100 scientists around the world.
Harvest House is a nonprofit supportive housing provider with eight campuses, 25 affordable rentals, and 380 beds throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties. Harvest House serves homeless families, youths ages 16-24, and adults with a history of incarceration and substance abuse issues. The organization works to break the generational cycle of homelessness and trauma by providing personal development workshops and mental health services. Visit harvesthousecenters.org.
Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc. offers a second chance for students who have been referred for minor legal infractions. The organization provides students, ages 8-18, with educational youth development activities designed to meet the specific needs of at-risk youth as well as student volunteers. Case managers provide the tools for clients – including access to free mental health services – to be successful so they feel encouraged and motivated to move on with law-abiding behavior without their records being tarnished. Visit sarasotateencourt.org.