Victoria benefit dance aims to break stigma of mental illness

Bay Street Armoury to host dinner/dance event Saturday

Having a mental illness doesn’t make a person weak.

A group of friends organizing a fundraiser dance in memory of Samuel Whitehead want people to know that it’s OK to admit to having a mental illness, and that it’s OK to ask for help.

Sam’s Groove, an event to raise awareness and funds for mental health, is being held at the Bay Street Armoury tomorrow (June 23).

It’s about moving forward and helping people who need it, said Troy Sauer, one of the event organizers.

“Part of it is keeping Sam’s memory alive and doing something like this in honour of him,” he said. “A bigger part, for me personally, is raising awareness for mental health issues.

“We are standing as one voice to say that mental illness is a disease like any other and the social stigma of it as a weakness needs to be eliminated.”

For people with mental illness, it seems that help is not always available, Sauer said. He hopes the event raises awareness that help is out there.

“It’s almost scary (for people with a mental illness) to ask for help, and people don’t. It seems like the only way people know about (mental health issues), or want to do anything about it, is if something tragic happens.”

Proceeds from the event go towards patient care programs and equipment for the Archie Courtnall Centre for Mental Health.

The ticket price of $15 includes a gourmet dinner by chef Kendall Boggs and live music by local bands Step Back Dave, Sweet Leaf, and Tuff Jelly. There will also be a 50-50 raffle and silent auction. The event is semi-formal and open to people age 19-plus.

People may also donate to the cause by visiting canadahelps.org. Search for Victoria Hospitals Foundation, specify the area of need as mental health, and indicate Sam’s Groove Benefit in the message area.

The fundraiser runs from 7 to 11 p.m. in the officers’ mess at the armoury, 715 Bay St. Tickets may be purchased at Sitka Surf and Skate Shop, 570 Yates St. and at the door if available. For more information, email samsgroovebenefit@gmail.com.

reporter@vicnews.com

Just Posted

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read