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Take a Seat at the Table

Take a Seat at the Table

NAMI Far Norths Take a Seat at the Table fundraiser and celebration of 5 years of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) was a great success. Held on Saturday, June 8 in the atrium of the Panhandle State Bank, the setting was festive indeed, featuring NAMIs signature blue and gold color scheme and enlivened by the display of unique and beautiful chairs and exciting and varied silent auction items. Approximately 160 guests enjoyed a dinner catered by Tango Caf and music by Doug Bond. Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler acknowledged the presence of CIT Champion Holly Bonwell of Region 1 Department of Health and Welfare, and CIT law enforcement officers Leslie Lehman, Kristina and Joe Scholten, Foster Mayo and Aaron Walker. NAMI Idaho President Doug McKnight Presented NAMI Far North Board Member Ann Wimberley with a plaque commending her leadership in state-wide CIT Training.

The response to this event from individual community citizens, businesses and merchants was phenomenal, with 72 items donated for the silent auction. Area artists also stepped up with 42 rescued and redesigned chairs, which were sold in lively bidding by auctioneer JoJo Baker, who challenged and cajoled attendees to bid ever higher on one-of-a-kind chairs, benches and stools. There was even a rocking horse! Competitive bidding was fast and fun, as auctioneer Baker proved to be as entertaining as he was successful in selling every item for top dollar. The live auction of chairs yielded over $5300 and the silent auction brought in more than $4400.

NAMI Far North is very grateful to the Stewart Family Charitable Fund for providing matching funds for the first $5000 of net proceeds. Thanks to the generosity of our own community and the match granted by Milt and Judi Stewart, the net amount raised by NAMI Far North through 2013s Take a Seat at the Table was over $18,000. Half of these funds will be used to ensure the sustainability of Region 1 CIT and half will go to the support of NAMI Far Norths educational and support initiatives for individuals living with mental illness and their families and friends.

NAMI Far North is grateful to you, our community, for your support. The financial success of Take a Seat at the Table is heart-warming and gives us confidence that our programs will continue. However, we count the most important success of this event to be the fact that so many of our friends, neighbors and business associates rallied with us to make it happen. The level of support we experienced tells us that our community is becoming more aware of the prevalence of mental illness all around and among us, and of the tragic cost of failure to properly treat and care for individuals who live with these neurobiological disorders. It tells us that our community is willing to look this societal problem in the eye, and to invest in more and better services for our loved ones who live with mental illness. It tells us that you have accepted our invitation to take a seat at our table -- the table of community discourse about and commitment to improvement of the lives of people who live with mental illness.

Thank you for having joined us in our struggle against the fear- and ignorance-based stigma and discrimination that surround our loved ones living with mental illness. Mental illness touches us all, and through your generous and enthusiastic support of the work of NAMI Far North, you have acknowledged that we are making progress toward the goal of dealing with brain disorders as we would deal with any other disease, of providing treatment not jail and according respect and compassion to those who live with them.

This paper mch, guitar-playing cowboy, created by the art class of Lake Pend Oreille High School under the leadership of Leatta Judd, was the hit of the evening.

Surrounded by chairs, Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler talks about the value of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained law enforcement officers as first responders in mental illness-related emergencies.

Chairs, chairs and more chairs!

JoJo Baker and CIT Officer Joe Scholten selling chairs at the live auction.

Related Files

February 6th, 2013 Bonner County Daily Bee - CIT (PDF File)
September 26, 2009 Bonner County Daily Bee - NAMI Social Today at PSB (PDF File)
September 25, 2009 Bonner County Daily Bee - "Take a Seat" and Help NAMI Far North (PDF File)
September 12, 2009 Bonner County Daily Bee - Community Invited to "Take a Seat at the Table" (PDF File)
Event Poster (PDF File)
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Related Links

December, 2009 Fund for Idaho - 2009 Grant Update
September 20, 2009 Spokesman Review - Event Shines a Light on Mental Illness
September 20, 2009 Sandpoint - Its Places and Its People - NAMI Far North Hosts Fundraiser

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