Over 100 people gathered at the Shelby Optimist Club in Shelby, MI, on Saturday, February 23, 2019, to enjoy a delicious dinner, belly-laugh at hilarious stand-up from Midwestern comedian Scott Long (pictured below), and celebrate the joy that comes when we give our mental health the attention it deserves.
Students from the Shelby High School National Honor Society once again volunteered to help serve and clear the fine dinner that Mary Rose Vanas and her catering staff planned and prepared. And the Shelby High School Choir reprised their role as opening act, sharing two beautiful songs that spoke to hope and determination: “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal” (arr. Alice Parker) and “I Was Here” (Lady Antebellum).
2019 Laughing Matters Event Sponsors
Laughing Matters garnered the support of 20 different event sponsors this year. Several of these businesses and organizations have supported Laughing Matters since the event began in 2015, but many more are getting involved for the first time.
This year’s sponsors include:
- Blondies Hair Salon
- The Brown Bear
- Country Dairy
- EnerG Fitness
- Gales Agency
- Harbor Design and Construction
- Hart Congregational United Church of Christ
- Heather Phares, DDS
- Klotz Agency – Farm Bureau Insurance
- Mercy Health (a member of Trinity Health)
- Oceana Veterinary Clinic
- Pixel Grafix Studio
- Pressures & Pipes, Inc.
- Rothbury Hardware & Farm Supply
- Shelby State Bank
- Snider Farms
- Storybook Village of Pentwater
- Trinity Lutheran Church
- Van Duinen Builders
- The Vintage Salon
Many thanks also to Big Hart Brewing Co., Hansen Foods, the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, Oceana Winery & Vineyard, Van Eerden Foodservice, the Shelby Optimist Club, Shelby Floral, and Valley City Linen for helping to make this year’s Laughing Matters event a success.
Over $14,000 Raised for Counseling Services
Having engagement from so many businesses, churches, and community members adds up! This year’s event raised over $14,000 for the Fountain Hill Center’s Lakeshore Counseling Office. That’s enough to fully fund more than 275 counseling sessions, and reduce costs for many more.
Such funding is especially needed in Oceana County, which has one of the lowest mental health service provider ratios of any county in Michigan. Although statistically, the odds of any Oceana County resident contracting a mental illness are about 1 in 5 (the national average), Oceana County has only 1 mental health service provider for every 4,350 people. This leaves hundreds of people each year without the care they need to lead healthy lives and realize their full potential.
The Fountain Hill Center aims to change that, by making mental healthcare more accessible and affordable to Oceana County residents. Our Lakeshore Office staff see an average of 15-20 clients per week for issues like abuse, anxiety, depression, and stress, and these services are provided regardless of a client’s ability to pay. We also provide in-school counseling services to K-12 school districts, free parenting classes and workshops, and intensive family support services for families in crisis.
Laughing Matters – Help Us Make a Difference!
Even if you missed this year’s event, it’s not too late to become a supporter. We’ll be accepting Laughing Matters contributions through March 15th and are able to process contributions made via cash, check, or credit/debit card. If contributing by check, please make payable to “The Fountain Hill Center” and indicate in the memo line that you would like to support the Lakeshore Counseling Office. If contributing via credit/debit card, please call our main office at (616) 456-1178 to provide payment information.
Every dollar raised through Laughing Matters stays local and goes directly to covering the cost of counseling services at our Lakeshore Office for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them.
If you’re interested in finding out more, or you think your business, church, or nonprofit would be interested in supporting the work that we do, please let us know!
Together we can continue building better tomorrows in Oceana County!