Dinner to feature Washington Post’s LuxenbergWritten by Emily Gibb | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighborhood Properties Inc. (NPI) is hosting a Mental Health Month dinner May 5 featuring award-winning author and Washington Post Associate Editor Steve Luxenberg. At this dinner, NPI is also presenting its annual advocacy award to Terry Russell, executive director of National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Ohio.
Neighborhood Properties Inc. established in 1988, is a nonprofit organization that helps provide housing and recovery for homeless people with mental illness and addictions.
A meet the author reception begins at 5 p.m. at the Toledo Hilton hotel and dinner follows from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The evening’s primary sponsor is the David and Lura Lovell Foundation.
Russell is a long-time advocate for individuals with mental illnesses after growing up with a schizophrenic brother named Johnny.
“State and federal funding is so tight and Terry has done an extraordinary job of bringing mental health to the forefront of media attention,” said NPI spokeswoman Peg Morrison, “and that’s just huge.”
After serving 22 years as the president and CEO of the Eastern Miami Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, Russell became executive director of NAMI for eight years. After retiring, he consulted for various agencies before becoming interim executive director of NAMI. He also chairs the Healthy Lives Healthy Communities Proactive Budget Project.
“As I got older and began thinking about what to do with my life, I decided that I wanted to help people like Johnny. No family should have to go through what ours did,” Russell said in a press release.
Copies of Luxenberg’s book “Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret” will be available for sale at the dinner. Set in Detroit, the book is part detective story, part social history and part memoir as Luxenberg tackles mental health, stigma and the consequences of secrecy.
The dinner will also feature expressions of recovery from the Northwest Ohio mental health community and NPI’s writing contest. Entries from students at Central Catholic, Maumee, St. Francis, Toledo Early College and Whitmer all try to discuss the question, “Is there a link between mental illness and homelessness?”
All the entries will appear in Toledo Streets, a newspaper that benefits unhoused and formerly unhoused individuals who are trying to change their lives. The top essayist is invited to read his or her work to the audience at the dinner.
Tickets are $35, a table for 10 costs $225 and admission is free for NPI clients. NPI asks that individuals.
For more information, call (419) 473-2694 Ext. 119.