Waypoint thanks community for $53,000 raised at fundraising dinner
Waypoint thanks community for $53,000 raised at fundraising dinner
Posted on 04/19/2016
Friday, April 1st was a day of music and inspiring conversation in Midland and Penetanguishene, thanks to the brilliance, compassion and ingenuity of Vijay Gupta. Gupta is a world renowned violinist with the L.A.Vijay GuptaPhilharmonic, Founder and Director of Street Symphony, a mental health advocate, and this year’s featured guest at Waypoint’s 3rd Annual Fundraising Dinner: An Evening of Music and Mental Health. The event raised more than $53,000 for our region’s mental health hospital, in support of people faced with mental illness and addiction. This is more than $13,000 higher than last year’s proceeds.

Headlining An Evening of Music and Mental Health was just one small part of what Gupta offered our local communities. He brought his music and words to Knox Presbyterian Church, where he performed and spoke with Waypoint outpatients and clients of partner agencies from across the region. Following the informal community event, Gupta offered two special performances for patients currently in hospital at Waypoint. 

Outside of his role as a professional violinist and inspirational speaker, Gupta dedicates his time to mental health advocacy, decreasing stigma and the homeless. Gupta’s organization, Street Symphony has played over 200 concerts on skid row in Los Angeles as well as throughout the American correctional system, which Vijay cites as one of the primary providers of mental health care in the United States. He spoke with guests at the fundraising dinner about how lucky Canada is to have the level of mental health care we have, and greater understanding of how to treat and care for people with mental illness who come into conflict with the law. 

In addition to Gupta’s contributions to the evening, the response from the local community was astounding. The $53,000 raised will directly impact mental health care across the region. Waypoint’s fundraising efforts support the purchase of new patient equipment such as hospital beds and Mental Health First Aid training for the community. These funds also bring Waypoint closer to the creation of new patient program areas including a new “downtown street” vision for a combined recreation and treatment space in the regional hospital, encouraging patients to leave their programs, with emphasis on the growing need for mental health care for seniors. 

“I want to express my sincere appreciation to TD Bank Group, our sponsors, and all those involved in making our 3rd Annual Fundraising Dinner such a resounding success”, said Betty Valentine, Chair of the Waypoint Board of Directors. She reflected on the evening, “Our guest speaker Vijay was an inspiration with his message of healing and hope for mental illness through the power of music. We had tremendous support from across the region, from sponsors and suppliers, to our guests and the amazing crew of volunteers. Thank you one and all”.