Each year, Kids’ Minds Matter brings the community together in support of vital pediatric mental health care for the children and families in Southwest Florida. Thank you to all who attended the 2024 Kids’ Minds Matter Signature Gala held on Wednesday, February 7.
We could write many pages and still not capture our immense gratitude for the amazing donors, sponsors and advocates – our main characters – who made the evening a success story.
Together, we raised a record-breaking $2.2 million!
Some of the most vocal advocates of pediatric mental health and Kids’ Minds Matter are those who found themselves unexpectedly coping with tragic circumstances.
That includes John Siebart and Dr. Mary Beth Malay, whose generous $1 million pledge brought a plot twist to the signature gala.
“We didn’t know how important it was to advance mental health support for youth until it came home to us about eight months ago. Unfortunately, we lost my daughter to suicide as she struggled to overcome her own demons. This loss has transformed my life,” said John.
Together, the couple pledged a total of $1 million, or $100,000 per year over the next 10 years, to help Golisano Children’s Hospital and Kids’ Minds Matter take care of children and families facing mental health challenges. The goal is to ensure children receive the right care at the right place and right time.
“We remain committed to working so that no other families have to experience the loss and heartache that we’ve been through. Expanding services throughout our community is the only means of helping to save lives,” said John.
With their support – and yours – Kids’ Minds Matter will continue to pursue its vision of making the full continuum of pediatric mental health services available in Southwest Florida.
The Courtnage Courage in Our Community Award was created in honor of KMM’s early investors, Larry and Kathy Courtnage. It recognizes an individual who has overcome challenges to positively affect others in our community. This year’s winner, Kelly Maguire, is a youth mental health advocate whose dedication, hard work, bravery and determination are an inspiration to many.
A graduate of FGCU’s psychology program, Kelly shares her story to help normalize the conversation around mental health and put an end to the stigma of mental illness. She hopes to inspire other young people to know that it is possible to overcome and heal from any adversity they have faced in life.
Kelly served as an intern in Lee Health’s Behavioral Health Department and has spoken at multiple conferences, middle schools, and high schools. She was the 2021 Keynote Speaker for Normal is Overrated, a Kids’ Minds Matter-supported event that provides teenagers with a space for open, well-informed conversations on the vast array of mental and behavioral health struggles faced by students.
Once upon a time, there were very few ways to help a child going through a mental health crisis in Southwest Florida. Since 2016, Kids’ Mind Matter has been working hard to create a new narrative to change this tale of struggle for the better by addressing the growing need for pediatric mental health services across our region.
Learn more in our 2023 Impact Report and share your story to inspire others!
Over the past several years, circumstances such as the global pandemic, a rise in cyberbullying and Hurricane Ian have each added financial pressure on our region’s children and their families. Although we are making progress, there are still many children and teens in our community whose storylines are filled with anxiety, depression, trauma and other mental health challenges.
With support from storybook heroes like you, Kids’ Minds Matter will continue to spread the news that every story matters – and inspire Southwest Florida children and their families to find happier endings.
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As we turn the page to 2024, Kids’ Minds Matter needs YOU to make our story of advocacy come alive by supporting Kids’ Minds Matter’s ongoing efforts to enhance access to the care our children need most. Here are some ways you can write the next chapter with Kids’ Minds Matter.
Thank you for believing in the story that Kids’ Mind Matter is writing for our community. Kids’ Minds Matter has made great strides over the past several years because of your generous support and advocacy for the well-being of children and families in our community.