The Quell Foundation proudly announces that its 2019 Masquerade Ball, presented by Aetna Behavioral Health and Catasys, raised nearly $700,000 to fund the Foundation’s scholarship program and the “Lift the Mask” documentary campaign.
“Year after year, we are continually overwhelmed by the support of our sponsors and patrons for this event,” said Quell Foundation CEO Kevin Lynch. “The speakers who lifted their masks and told their stories about their mental health, including two of our scholarship recipients, are a testament to the continued efforts of the people in that room.”
Founded in 2015, The Quell Foundation is establishing the next generation of mental health care practitioners and advocates.” The Foundation’s unique approach to supporting mental health is making a difference. Since its formation, The Foundation has distributed over $1.3 million in scholarships to students representing 47 states and over 400 different universities and colleges around the country.
Multiple speakers gave voice to The Foundation’s powerful message of the evening “Lift the mask on mental health.” Speakers include:
Creative Director of MOD and Co-chairwoman of the 2019 Quell Foundation Masquerade Ball, Nina Stanley, opened the evening with the ceremonial “lifting of the mask” with a call to arms, “For whomever, you hold dear to your heart, tonight, we are changing the world for them.”
2019 Quell Foundation Scholar, singer/songwriter, and student from the University of Miami, Gina Abraczinskas, shared with all in attendance an original song that brought the room to its feet.
Amaris Kobolak, Communications Chair of The Quell Foundation Jr. Board of Directors and a student-athlete alumnus at the University of Pennsylvania, was the first speaker to lift her mask, and spoke to the pressures of “being perfect” and the pain endured through losing multiple teammates to suicide.
The Keynote speaker of the evening, Elizabeth Spayd, recounted her experiences as the former New York Times public editor, coupled with her daily struggles to overcome her undiagnosed bipolar disorder and a survived suicide attempt.
Emeritus Quell Foundation Board Member Dr. Chris Calkins received The Quell Foundation Honoree Award for his work at the Dept. of Health Policy & Administration at Pennsylvania State University as an early, crucial supporter to The Quell Foundation’s creation in 2015. Read more about this honoree here.
A junior at Lehigh University studying Neuroscience and a 2019 Quell Foundation Scholar, Zachary Whitney closed out the evening sharing his personal story of resiliency and hope in the wake of the loss of his sister, Ciara, who died by suicide just two short years ago.
The Foundation will hold the 2020 Masquerade Ball in Minneapolis, MN, on October 24 at the Aria at the Jeune Lune. Those looking for sponsorship opportunities should email KLynch@thequellfoundation.org
Sponsors for the 2019 event included Aetna Behavioral Health, Catasys, McKinsey and Company, US Bank, and Zudy.