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Benefit for Hope on April 15

Posted 3/21/23

The theme of Youth Leadership Bedford’s Benefit for Hope is: It’s ok not to be ok.

In recent years, there have been multiple mental-health related tragedies of school-age children in …

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Benefit for Hope on April 15


The theme of Youth Leadership Bedford’s Benefit for Hope is: It’s ok not to be ok.

In recent years, there have been multiple mental-health related tragedies of school-age children in Bedford County, which have left a profound impact on the lives of students and their families. To try and help, this year’s Youth Leadership Bedford class has chosen to host a mental health awareness benefit event called "A Benefit for Hope." The goal is to remove the stigma surrounding mental health, bring awareness to the resources available, and raise money for counseling services grants.

The event is set on April 15 beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Shelbyville Central High School. The event will feature dinner, live music, silent and live auctions, and a Mental Health Resources Fair. Dinner does not have to be purchased to attend the event.

Kara Swain, vice president of the Youth Leadership Bedford Class of 2023 and a senior at Shelbyville Central High School said, “I was inspired to pick mental health as our focus because I felt the overwhelming need in our county. Throughout our school careers, we have dealt with many losses, and this leaves students to have a changed perception of mental health issues. I feel so passionate about our project because I want to help create a change.”

Swain added that there are amazing resources in the community that fit every family’s needs. “I wish I could share the knowledge I've gained with everyone else, so they can see how passionate our community is to help those in need of mental health support,” she said.

This fair will feature the resources from Youth Villages, Shelbyville Police Department, Bedford County Sheriff’s Department, NAMI, Juvenile Court, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, Junior's House Child Advocacy Center, Health Connect America, Volunteer Behavior Care System, TN Voices, Health Connect America, Alzheimer's Tennessee, Community Clinic of Shelbyville, and Haven of Hope.

There will also be speakers from the mental health field representing the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network and the Jason Foundation.

Daniel Craig, Youth Leadership Bedford Class of 2023 and senior at Cascade High School, said, “One thing that motivates me is that this event is going to help others. The money from the event could not only help people but could also save a life. I have gone through losing classmates, and it’s not something I want anyone else to go through. Mental Health is not something we need to take lightly; it’s a tough topic to talk about but necessary. I believe that’s what motivates me to work on this project daily.”

There will be a wide variety of auction items available during the event, including two nights in Baskins Creek in Gatlinburg, a “Day in Lynchburg” with two tickets for tour & dining at Mary Bobos, a Discovery Flight with the Shelbyville Flight Academy, a five-day hunt in South Africa with Wild Wildebeest Lodge, and much, much more from local Bedford businesses.

In addition to auction items, door prizes, made possible by the Leadership Bedford Board of Directors, include Airpods, an Xbox game series, a Nintendo Switch, and an Asus laptop.

All proceeds will be allocated for grants for ages 21 and under who need professional counseling services but are not in a financial position to afford it.

“The way I think of it is this: If that one donation or one sponsor I get makes a difference in someone’s life, it’s worth working daily to do it. I am glad to be part of this great effort to bring awareness to mental health,” Craig added.

YLB member Emma Collard and Cascade High senior, said, “The reason we feel so passionate about our Benefit for Hope is because mental health impacts each of us. Students, teachers, parents, business owners…everyone. If our community invests in the mental health of our students, we invest in a better and brighter future for Bedford County as a whole.”

Scan the QR code to purchase a ticket. A paper-form of dinner tickets may also be purchased from any YLB member. Dinner tickets must be purchased in advance. For questions, email ylb.benefitforhope@gmail.com. And for more information, visit their Instagram page at Youth.Leadership.Bedford or Facebook at Benefit for Hope.