October 18, 2010

Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health 2010, by Ashley Paula

BringChange2Mind attended the 16th annual Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health last month in Rutherford, CA.  It was an amazing and successful event!  The Staglin Music Festival is the top mental health fundraising event in the nation and is hosted and organized by the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), who raises awareness and funds research to find cures for the “Big 3” brain diseases: schizophrenia, depression and bipolar.  Shari and Garen Staglin started IMHRO when their son, Brandon was diagnosed with Schizophrenia his freshman year at college. To learn more about Brandon’s story, check out his recent BC2M blog post.

The Staglin Music Festival takes place each year at the Staglin Family Vineyard located in Rutherfod, CA. IMRHO raised a total of $2.5 million at this year’s festival and a total of $114 million since its first event 16 years ago.  The great thing about this festival is that every single dollar goes to raising money for mental health research.  The Staglin Family Vineyard donates the table settings, wine, etc., and volunteers fly in from all over the country to participate.

This year’s event began with a scientific symposium, which was followed by a fun and vibrant reception, with hors d’oeuvres by Yountville’s Chef Richard Reddington and wine tasting with a selection of 76 West Coast wineries.  Our very own Glenn Close spoke with her sister Jessie and Nephew Calen about the BringChange2Mind PSA before the concert took place, which featured country music star Dwight Yoakam.  The concert was then followed by a relaxing, evening meal with wonderful wine and delicious food prepared by Chef Jon Bonnell.

We were very excited and honored to be a part of such a great event.  IMRHO had reserved a table for BringChange2Mind near the wine caves, where we sold BC2M T-shirts, fleece blankets, and engraved charms and charm necklaces.  Every guest and volunteer that stopped by the table was such a joy, and our volunteers had a blast.  After the concert, we moved our table up to the main house where the courtyard dinner took place.  All we could say at first was, “wow”.  The Staglin’s house is absolutely amazing.  Many of the dinner guests were very familiar with BringChange2Mind and a few were even in our PSA.  We drank a little wine, chatted with guests and sold many charm necklaces.  At the end of the day we raised a total of about $8000 for BringChange2Mind, and much of the money raised came from personal donations.

All in all, the BringChang2Mind team, who attended this year’s Staglin Music Festival had a fantastic time. We were very proud to be representing BringChange2Mind and to take part in such a wonderful event.


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