Laughter is the best medicine

On October 19, laughter proved to be the best medicine when Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) – the mental health nonprofit co-founded by actress and activist Glenn Close – celebrated its 10th annual Revels & Revelations fundraiser at San Francisco’s famous Bimbo’s 365 Club. humor.

Between the ticket sale and the live two-piece auction that included a vacation home renovation royal brothersDrew and Jonathan Scott and a weekend in wine country complete with Michelin-starred meals and a stay at San Francisco’s Madrona Jay Jeffers Hotel in Healdsburg, the room of nearly 350 revelers helped raise $1 million in support of BC2M’s advocacy and education campaign. and support programs.

This year the organization awarded the Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter Award – presented by the son of the late artist Zack Williams – to comedian and actress Melissa McCarthy. On hand with her husband, actor Ben Falcone, McCarthy – along with Close – spoke Terms and Conditions About the award and the ongoing need to address the stigma surrounding mental illness.

When I got a call regarding the award, my 10-year-old Illinois farm girl said ‘Oh my God, Glenn Close is calling me – it’s on my phone! “It’s a terrifying moment,” McCarthy said. “I mean, it’s so wonderful on so many different levels and her heart is absolutely in this — the fact that mental illness affects one in four people, and we’re still trying to spread awareness of it.”

Close said, “I called Melissa and she said yes right away [to receiving the award]And that was really important to us because she’s someone who gets a lot of requests,” Claus said. McCarthy is the sixth winner of the award, which was first presented to Williams friend Billy Crystal in 2017.

Founded in 2010, BC2M was Close’s response to her family’s struggle with mental illness and the stigma associated with it after her sister, Jesse Close, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her nephew, Calin Beck, was diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia. “Our motto at first was ‘start the conversation,’ because we were a family who didn’t have the vocabulary to discuss mental illness,” she said. “I had no idea what I was going to do, and immediately after getting help to Jesse and Callen, it took me a good two years to figure out what to do.” Kloss has spent his time volunteering at Fountain House, a New York-based nonprofit organization that, with its club model, helps people with mental illness achieve their goals through a variety of hands-on programs. “I volunteered in the cafeteria and with their newspaper, because if I’m going to be an advocate, it’s really important to be with them face to face.”

Primarily focused on supporting children and adolescents who are suffering and affected by mental illness, BC2M now has 480 clubs in schools across 35 states, 120 of which are in California alone. “There are 380 schools on the waiting list, and children are reaching out to us, not teachers, school boards or county officials,” explained Pamela Harrington, the organization’s executive director. Single club. “And it’s too cheap for a life-saving investment,” Kloss added very frankly.

For her part, McCarthy has always used her enviable talent for eliciting joy and laughter to make a difference in people’s lives. “I don’t know anyone who is unaffected [by mental illness]so when Ben and I start a comedy project, he’s not without thinking we’re doing it to make people laugh.” “I can’t fix a lot of things, but if I can make someone laugh and forget their problems for an hour and a half, I’ll do my best to keep doing it. “

The evening programme, hosted by actor Eric Bergen, also featured sets for singer-songwriter Andy Grammer and comedian Jay Pharoah, as well as a special performance by seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette.

Guests at the all-sold-out event included Marsha Williams, Olivia John Williams, Jeff Callan, Hilary Newsom Callan, Jay Jeffers, Isabel Bakuschi, Aaron, Krista Guevara, Jacqueline Weckert, Debbie Magoan, Catherine Ramstad, Shayna Farrow, James and Zim Joaquin, Daniel De Uliss, and Jeannine Mitke and Mauri Wanika, Scott Miller, Doug Piper, Alan Stewart, David Ehrenberg and Scott Nevins, who worked on the auction.

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