CHC Rocktoberfest Raises Funds to Expand Affordable Teen Mental Health Services

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Advancement–On Saturday, October 15th CHC hosted more than 350 community
leaders, parents, professionals, and philanthropists at its fourth
annual CHC Rocktoberfest fundraiser, held at NCEFT in Woodside. The
benefit celebration and dance raised funds to expand affordable teen
mental health services and to support CHC programs in Silicon Valley.

CHC Rocktoberfest, co-chaired by tireless community volunteers Calla
Griffith and Anne-Marie Gambelin, has become one of the hottest tickets
around, known for its fun mix of Oktoberfest with a California twist.
Featuring farm-to-table food, and over 20 fine artisan wines and craft
beers, as well as rock n’ roll, courtesy of the band LoveFool, guests
were treated to a first-class evening out. Under twinkling lights,
guests bid on Raffles, a wine pull, and over 30 unique experiences in
the silent auction including a luxury suite for 16 at a 49er game,
celebrity chef-prepared dinners, and weekend escapes to Napa’s Silverado
Resort, or Santa Barbara’s Four Season’s Biltmore and more. The event
was made possible by event sponsors, both corporate and individual,
including Hercules Capital, DLA Piper, Brown Pelican wifi, DPR
Construction and Gentry Magazine.

“I am thrilled by the remarkable community support shown to CHC at
Rocktoberfest,” said Dr. Rosalie Whitlock, Executive Director of CHC.
“Funds raised tonight will help create a vital web of mental health
services to ensure more kids, teens and families get the support they
need.” Moved by the tremendous need for mental health services in the
community, two anonymous donors kicked off the Fund-A-Need appeal by
offering a $100,000 dollar-for-dollar matching grant to double guest
contributions to CHC’s Teen Mental Health Initiative.

Teen Mental Health is an issue close to the hearts of our community, and
of personal importance to guest speaker Mackenzie Drazen, an
accomplished equestrian, successful model, entrepreneur, and thriving
Junior at Duke University. Mackenzie grew up in Woodside where she and
her sister Shelby were inseparable. “Shelby was a gifted athlete,
intelligent, and a kind, compassionate, and loving person,” said
Mackenzie. “Shelby had endless empathy for others, and most who knew her
can remember a time that she made them feel better, worthwhile, or gave
them confidence.”

In high school Shelby became interested in the brain and trying to
understand what was happening to her. Shelby had been diagnosed with
depression and anxiety, and wanted to understand more. The following
summer she co-authored a neuroscience textbook about major depressive
disorder. “Exactly two years ago yesterday, I lost my sister and my best
friend to depression,” said Mackenzie. “As you can imagine, that was the
worst day of my life.”

“Before Shelby passed away, I really struggled to understand what she
was going through,” continued Mackenzie. “Looking back now I remember
thinking ‘she doesn’t appreciate the amazing opportunities she has going
for her’, and ‘why can’t she just snap out of it?’ As horrible as I feel
for thinking those thoughts, the reality is that we are not taught about
mental health or what mental illness really is. I was scared because I
loved my sister so much and wanted to do anything I could to help her.
But I didn’t know what to do or say, and I never knew how she was really
feeling.”

Through her grief, Mackenzie found her mission. “Shelby is the
inspiration of my website, MYTEAM.org, and the reason I’m dedicating the
rest of my life to help eradicate mental health stigma, raise awareness
and improve mental health care in cooperation with organizations like
CHC.” Myteam.org is a web-based support system that equips friends and
family members of those struggling with mental health conditions with
the right information and resources to take action and help their loved
ones.

The statistics on Teen Mental Health issues are sobering. 1 in 5 teens
struggles with mental health issues. 75% of mental health issues appear
before age 24. Suicide rates in our community have been rising since
2003. Only half of teens get the treatment they need and deserve. CHC is
committed to turning the tide on mental illness by:

  • Raising awareness, removing stigma, connecting those in need to help
  • Offering safe, affordable and accessible therapy services for teens
    with anxiety and depression
  • Partnering with Schools to develop mental wellness programs
  • Mobilizing teens to join the mental wellness movement
  • Educating our community about signs to look for and how to get help
  • Creating a web of mental health support to ensure more kids, teens and
    families get the help they need regardless of ability to pay

“Life is a gift. It offers us the privilege, the opportunity, the
responsibility to give something back by becoming more. Mackenzie is
doing just that,” said Rosalie Whitlock. “I’ve known the Drazen family
for many years, and I have great respect for Mackenzie’s mom, Stacy, for
raising two such accomplished, kind, compassionated and talented
daughters. We are especially grateful to Mackenzie because her family’s
story has become a catalyst for CHC’s Teen Mental Health Initiative.”

About Children’s Health Council

For over 60 years, Children’s Health Council has been improving the
lives of children and families in our community by removing barriers to
learning like ADHD, Learning Differences, Anxiety & Depression and
Autism. CHC has helped more than a million families so far. CHC provides
education and mental health services so children and teens can become
resilient, happy and successful at home, at school and in life. At CHC,
we’re here for you. En CHC, estamos aqui para ti. To learn more about
CHC and its Teen Mental Health Initiative, to schedule an appointment or
to contribute, visit www.chconline.org/rocktoberfest/fund-a-need/
or call 650.688.3625.

Contacts

Children’s Health Council
Micaelia Randolph, 707-933-7332
mrandolph@chconline.org
or
Yvonne
Wolters, 650-867-7929
yjwolters@gmail.com