Despite a cacophony of wind and rain this past Thursday evening, the dreary weather did not deter supporters from raising funds for the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre and their various initiatives which support children with mental health issues and their families. With a brazen name like One Night Stand, it was no wonder this event attracted such a diverse and supportive audience.
While One Night Stand was a jovial event filled with people in fancy frocks, blaring sets by House DJ K-Os, and celebrity supporters like David Sutcliffe (Cracked, Gilmore Girls) on the scene, the purpose was more profound: According to The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, one in five children suffers from a mental health problem. If these youths are not aided in their plight against mental illness, they will suffer; their untreated problems will fester and manifest themselves in negative ways, from social difficulties in school, violent or disruptive outbursts, exhibiting behavioural concerns, to stress and heartache for them and their loved ones. Proceeds from One Night Stand will help alleviate many of these concerns; the money raised from ticket sales and the silent auction will go towards various programs including prevention, treatment, training, education, and research initiatives.
The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre assists more than 8,000 infants, children, and youths in our local communities. Their unyielding compassion and support is helping to shape a hopeful and optimistic future for these youths. They will have control over their lives, create a wealth of opportunities for themselves, and become successful, productive members of society.
With such heavy-hearted issues to contend with, One Night Stand was a catharsis; it was a welcome sight to see a line-up snaked out the door of the Burroughes Building on the corner of Bathurst and Queen. After ascending numerous flights of stairs, attendees were greeted with neon coloured shades and bangles to wear, smiling faces of volunteers, delectable foods, and a haze of chameleon lights which illuminated the silent auction tables that lined the perimeter of the room. From paintings, UFC tickets, to an experience at Fashion Week, the clipboards were ablaze with pen scratched bids. For a small donation, guests could have their photos taken with celebrity photographers Dustin Rabin and Arthur Mola. Professional make-up artists were also on site to ensure guests were camera ready.
Even in the frenzied party atmosphere, there was an opportunity to ask David Sutcliffe about his desire to support the One Night Stand event and The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre. With candor, he said he had combated anxiety in his personal life and could empathize with youths battling mental illnesses (a human condition which affects all of us to varying degrees). Through group therapy and reorienting his way of thinking, he said he was able to be more introspective and adopt a mode of realistic thinking which has helped him overcome anxiety issues, grow in his craft as an actor… and as a person.
This One Night Stand was an event that will endure the test of time because it affects positive change for everyone involved. To learn more about children’s mental illness and how you can help, please visit The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre website.