Better Makers: The NAMI Gala Raises Crucial Funds in Support of Free Mental Health Services for Veterans

The Honor Guard at NAMI CCNS 2018 Gala

The Cook County North Suburban chapter of NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness, held its 2018 NAMI Gala, Finding Peace After War, on April 21 at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois. The Gala served as an awareness event highlighting NAMI CCNS’s new programing in support of our veterans and mental health.

Nearly 300 NAMI supporters attended the Gala, which raised more than $170,000 for NAMI CCNS programing and support groups. The funds raised are vital for continuing to provide free services to anyone in need.

The new programs include: NAMI Homefront, a nationwide online course for veterans; Stable-ity (equine therapy); and the new veteran support group coming in July 2018.

The evening included remarks from three prestigious individuals: Hon. Patrick J. Murphy, former Under Secretary of the Army and former Congressman; Mrs. Amy Miner, wife of a veteran; and a video message from Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

Steve and Ronna Warshauer of Highland Park chaired this year’s event.

NAMI Gala: Pat Rodbro and Hon. Patrick J. Murphy

President Pat Rodbro and Hon. Patrick J. Murphy (Photo courtesy of NAMI CCNS.)

NAMI Gala: Ronna and Steve Warshauer

Chairs Ronna and Steve Warshauer (Photo courtesy of NAMI CCNS.)

NAMI Gala: Honor Guard

Honor Guard (Photo courtesy of NAMI CCNS.)

NAMI Gala: Matt Defano, Margo Defano, Joan and Richard DeCleene

Associate Board President Matt Defano and Margo Defano, Joan and Vice President Richard DeCleene (Photo courtesy of NAMI CCNS.)

NAMI Gala: Christine Pawlowski, Nancy and Frank Vydra, Sue Ockerlund

Christine Pawlowski, auction chair; Nancy and Frank Vydra; and Sue Ockerlund, Development Director (Photo courtesy of NAMI CCNS.)


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Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.




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