WHEN: OCTOBER 24, 2020
WHERE: HERITAGE ISLES GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
Mental illnesses occur at similar rates around the world, in every culture and in all socio economic groups. 1 in 5 young people suffer from a mental illness. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24, and the FOURTH leading cause of death for ages 15-64. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and lung disease COMBINED. These numbers are staggering.
As you may know, our family lost our 17-year old daughter, Hailey Acierno, due to mental illness/suicide on March 28, 2017. In honor of Hailey, and all of those who suffer with mental illness, we started Hailey’s Voice of Hope, a 501(c)(3) foundation, on May 8, 2017. While our foundation was not very active in its first year, a promise was made to Hailey to do more in her honor on the one-year mark of losing her on March 28, 2018.
Since that time, our foundation has hosted two golf tournaments, dinners and silent auctions. We continue to be humbled by the support of so many friends and strangers for a foundation that is still in infancy. Hailey’s Voice of Hope’s Third Annual Golf Tournament, Dinner and Silent Auction is being held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club. For sponsorship and attendance information, please see the below tabs.
The primary goal of Hailey’s Voice of Hope is to develop educational programs that raise awareness and acceptance of mental illness. In 2019, we partnered with the Hillsborough County School Board and the Jordan Binion Project (http://www.jordanbinionproject.org) to bring a one-week mental health education class to all Hillsborough County high school students. Hillsborough County Public Schools is the eighth largest district in the nation. This class will help students identify signs of mental illness and help locate potential life-saving resources. Hailey’s Voice of Hope intends to expand this curriculum to be taught to all middle and high school students throughout the State of Florida, and beyond. 2020 has given us quite a few obstacles, but we are hoping to meet with members of Hillsborough County schools soon to discuss how our foundation can bring additional mental health services to students.
Another part of our mission is to support organizations that raise awareness of mental illness and prevent suicide, so our foundation made substantial donations to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). Both organizations are A rated by Charity Watch.
Hailey’s Voice of Hope is operated solely by volunteers, and our expenses are nominal. Right now, our only expenses include website fees, and normal governmental fees to fully comply with local, state and federal laws for a 501(c)(3) foundation. With virtually no expenses, all donations are used to support Hailey’s Voice of Hope’s mission.
Chances are that you know someone who has been affected by mental illness and/or suicide. Consider your donation a powerful tribute to them.