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Children's Health Council

CHC Rocktoberfest Rocks Out For Kids and Teens, Raising Funds For Affordable Teen Mental Health and CHC Programs

hildren's Health Council's Rocktoberfest 2016

October 27, 2016, News

Media Contact: Micaelia Randolph, 707.933.7332, mrandolph@chconline.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650.867.7929, gbheron@mac.com

PALO ALTO, CA, October 24, 2016 —On Saturday, October 15th CHC hosted more than 350 community leaders, parents, professionals, and philanthropists at its Fourth Annual CHC Rocktoberfest fundraiser, held at NCEFT in Woodside. The benefit celebration and dance raised funds to expand affordable teen mental health services and to support CHC programs in Silicon Valley.

CHC Rocktoberfest, co-chaired by well-known community volunteers Calla Griffith and Anne-Marie Gambelin, has become one of the hottest tickets around, known for it’s fun mix of Oktoberfest with a California twist. Featuring farm-to-table food, and over 20 fine artisan wines and craft beers, as well as rock n’ roll, courtesy of the band LoveFool, guests were treated to a first-class evening out. Under twinkling lights, guests bid on raffles, a wine pull, and over 30 unique experiences in the silent auction including a luxury suite for 16 at a 49er game, celebrity chef-prepared dinners, and weekend escapes to Napa’s Silverado Resort, or Santa Barbara’s Four Seasons Biltmore and more. The event was made possible by event sponsors, both corporate and individual, including Hercules Capital, DLA Piper, Brown Pelican wifi, DPR Construction and Gentry Magazine.Children's Health Council's Rocktoberfest 2016

“I am thrilled by the remarkable community support shown to CHC at Rocktoberfest,” said Dr. Rosalie Whitlock, Executive Director of CHC. “Funds raised tonight will help create a vital web of educational and mental health services to ensure more kids, teens and families get the support they need.” Moved by the tremendous need for teen mental health services in the community, two generous donors kicked off the Fund-A-Need appeal by offering a $100,000 dollar-for-dollar matching grant to double guest contributions to CHC’s Teen Mental Health Initiative.

Teen Mental Health is an issue close to the hearts of our community, and of personal importance to guest speaker Mackenzie Drazan, an accomplished equestrian, successful model, entrepreneur, and thriving Junior at Duke University. Mackenzie grew up in Woodside where she and her sister Shelby were inseparable. “Shelby was a gifted athlete, intelligent, and a kind, compassionate, and loving person,” said Mackenzie. “Shelby had endless empathy for others, and most who knew her can remember a time that she made them feel better, worthwhile, or gave them confidence.”

In high school Shelby became interested in the brain and trying to understand what was happening to her. Shelby had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and was wanted to understand more.The following summer she co-authored a neuroscience textbook about major depressive disorder. “Exactly two years ago yesterday, I lost my sister and my best friend to depression,” said Mackenzie.  “As you can imagine, that was the worst day of my life.”

 “Before Shelby passed away, I really struggled to understand what she was going through,” continued Mackenzie. “Looking back now I remember thinking ‘She doesn’t appreciate the amazing opportunities she has going for her’, and ‘Why can’t she just snap out of it?’ As horrible as I feel for thinking those thoughts, the reality is that we are not taught about mental health or what mental illness really is. I was scared because I loved my sister so much and wanted to do anything I could to help her. But I didn’t know what to do or say, and I never knew how she was really feeling.”

Through her grief, Mackenzie found her mission. “Shelby is the inspiration for my website, MYTEAM.org, and the reason I’m dedicating the rest of my life to helping to eradicate mental health stigma, raise awareness and improve mental health care in cooperation with organizations like CHC.” MYTEAM.org is a web-based support system that equips friends and family members of those struggling with mental health conditions with the right information and resources to take action and help loved ones.

The statistics on Teen Mental Health issues are sobering. 1 in 5 teens struggles with mental health issues. 75% of mental health issues appear before age 24. Suicide rates in our community have been rising since 2003. Only half of teens get the treatment they need and deserve. CHC is committed to turning the tide on mental illness by:

  • Raising awareness, removing stigma, connecting those in need to help
  • Offering safe, affordable and accessible therapy services for teens with anxiety and depression
  • Partnering with schools to develop mental wellness programs
  • Mobilizing teens to join the mental wellness movement
  • Educating our community about signs to look for and how to get help
  • Creating a web of mental health support to ensure more kids, teens and families get the help they need regardless of ability to pay

“Life is a gift. It offers us the privilege, the opportunity, the responsibility to give something back by becoming more. Mackenzie is doing just that,” said Rosalie Whitlock.  “I’ve known the Drazan family for many years, and I have great respect for Mackenzie’s mom, Stacy, for raising two such accomplished, kind, compassionate and talented daughters. We are especially grateful to Mackenzie because her family’s story has become a catalyst for CHC’s Teen Mental Health Initiative.”

About Children’s Health Council

For over 60 years, Children’s Health Council has been improving the lives of children, teens and families in our community by removing barriers to learning like ADHD, Learning Differences, Anxiety & Depression and Autism. CHC has helped more than a million families so far. CHC provides education and mental health services so children and teens can become resilient, happy and successful at home, at school and in life. At CHC, we’re here for you. En CHC, estamos aqui para ti. To learn more about CHC and its Teen Mental Health Initiative, to schedule an oppointment or to contribute, visit www.chconline.org/rocktoberfest/fund-a-need/ or call 650.688.3625.

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