Event Pics: A Night of High Hopes

A Night of High Hopes Committee. Front Row: Jill Freshley, Nancy Nyhart, Debbie Davis, Dianne Brown, Ruthie Keefe, Betty Murdock, Theresa Liguzinski, Julie Webster. Back Row: Christine Lindner, Dana Ede, Erin Oblinger, Hope Schmidt, Mindy Weigel, Kathy Bechtold, Diana Cole

Over 400 individuals from the greater Cincinnati area attended A Night of High Hopes at the Manor House in Mason on April 14.  The event was hosted by High Hopes (a non-profit organization committed to raising funds and awareness for Lindner Center of HOPE) and co-chaired by Dianne Brown and Ruthie Keefe.  All proceeds directly benefit bipolar and mood disorder research at Lindner Center of HOPE (a comprehensive mental health center located in Mason, OH).

The event raised $200,000, through sponsorships, ticket sales, silent auction and raffle. A special paddle auction raised $35,000 alone.  It is anticipated that The Marriott Foundation will match the total raised by the event, potentially resulting in $400,000 benefitting bipolar and mood disorders research.

Success stories about mental health were shared throughout the evening, beginning with Dr. Mark Frye’s update on Mayo Clinic’s Bipolar Biobank at a special VIP reception held for premiere event sponsors.

Dr. Frye, Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and his team have established the Mayo Clinic Individualized Medicine Biobank for Bipolar Disorder.  In affiliation with Mayo Clinic, researchers at Lindner Center of HOPE are serving as a research resource for this study, attempting to identify and understand the underpinning mechanisms of bipolar disorders.

Diagnosis of bipolar disorder continues to be based on behavioral observation and symptoms, without considering biological validation.  Through the discovery of common biomarkers, the Biobank study is successfully making great strides in validating a biological test, for a more reliable diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

The evening included a complementary cocktail hour with guests bidding on 45 various silent auction items, taking a chance on several donated raffle prizes, and enjoying a sit-down dinner.

Following dinner, featured speaker Pete Earley, American journalist and author of CRAZY: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, shared his success story about his son, Kevin who suffers with bipolar disorder.  When Mr. Earley’s life was unraveled by the events recounted in his book Crazy, he joined the National Alliance on Mental Illness to advocate for strong mental health public awareness, and ultimately, reform.  Mr. Earley concluded his talk with news that today, his son is taking his medication and has begun a career as a peer-to-peer counselor in Virginia.

As the evening came to a close, Mary Alexander, Director of Development for Lindner Center of HOPE, shared a success story about one of the Center’s research patients.  The story explained how, through research, this patient has found hope as a subject in the study.  And how this important research offers hope to our community, and our world.

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