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Around Town: Stark mental health walk raises $44,000

Canton Repository - 10/27/2019

The ninth annual Moving Forward for Mental Health Walk took place Oct. 6 at Hoover Park. The 2.8-mile walk went through North Canton and the Hoover Park Connector Trail. Kay Raga was there leading the way.

The walk was sponsored by the Stark County affiliate of National Alliance on Mental Illness. The 335 participants raised $44,000. According to Raga, the money will go toward "raising awareness and funding to support education programs, support groups and advocacy for those touched by mental illness in our community and to remember those we have lost to their mental illness."

Raga is the is the Stark affiliate's executive director and walk manager. She wants the community to know that "people touched by mental illness -- those struggling personally, their families, caregivers, health care professionals and friends -- joined together to raise awareness for this illness that affects one in four people in this country. It was a powerful sight and a celebration of the positive impact that education, support and advocacy can have on the lives of those touched by mental illness."

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization. It is dedicated to build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. They advocate for access to services, treatment, support and research. The Stark County affiliate provides recovery-oriented programming for those living with mental illness and their families.

Those wishing more more information, can call 330-455-6264, visit www.namistarkcounty.org or visit the office at 121 Cleveland Ave. SW, Canton. Interested persons can still donate to the walk at https://www.firstgiving.com/event/NamiStarkCountyOH/2019_Walk.

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Mercy Service League's 2019 Harvest Ball took place Oct. 19 at the Alex D. Krassas Event Center in Canton.

Dr. Steven and Peg Hirsch served as honorary medical chairs. Normal and Jane Eckinger Jr. served as community chairs, and Linda Ganser and Lisa Werstler served as Mercy Service League co-chairs. The event raised about $300,000, with proceeds benefiting the Mercy Facility Transformation Clinical Decision Unit, which will allow Mercy to add more private rooms for its patients.

Over 350 guests attended this year's Harvest Ball, titled The French Connection. It was a French-inspired evening of authentic gourmet cuisine, chic decorations, traditional music of France and the area's only gala featuring no auction, no wallet and no program.

"Harvest Ball is a wonderful formal event offered by Mercy Service League, which raises money for important patient care initiatives," said Thomas J. Strauss, interim CEO of Mercy Medical Center. "We're so appreciative that our Service League members have designated the proceeds this year to help Mercy add more private rooms for our patients, which will lead to even greater patient satisfaction, reduced infections, improved patient throughout and increase patient privacy."

The 2020 ball has been scheduled for Oct. 24.

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It's that time again. The Canton Ballet's annual Touchdown and Tutus fundraiser will have tryouts for high school player participation at 5 p.m.Nov. 17 in the ballet studios at the Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Ave. N.

The event pairs area high school football players with Canton Ballet ballerinas in a performance competition before a panel of judges. The event benefits the School of Canton Ballet financial aid and educational outreach programs.Tryouts are open to all area high school football players in grades 9 through 12. No dance experience is required. Entrants should wear workout attire. Participants should use the Cleveland Avenue entrance.To register, call Canton Ballet at 330-455-7220 or email info@TouchdownsAndTutus.com.

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In celebration of its 100th anniversary, Whitacre Engineering has announced a campaign to offer $100 classroom awards for area teachers to use in the classroom for special projects, supplies and other student needs.

The Classroom Awards program is designed to recognize and honor teachers who strive to go above and beyond for their students and give them a small stipend to bring projects to life.Whitacre Engineering is using its 100th anniversary to support the community through these classroom awards. The company has operations in Magnolia, Canton and Syracuse, N.Y.The Whitacre Classroom Awards program is open for teachers in Stark County and Oswego County, New York. In total, 20 teachers will each receive a $100 award. The award winners will be selected by a committee of Whitacre employees who have been charged with creating a comprehensive selection of 100th anniversary activities on behalf of the company.

Deadline to apply is Nov. 9. The winning school districts will be notified by Nov. 29. Teachers from grades K-12 that teach in Stark County are encouraged to apply at the company's program website, www.whitacre100.com.

Send tips about acts of kindness, anecdotes, honors or other items of interest to Necole Sims, Around Town, The Repository, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton OH 44702, necole.sims@cantonrep.com, or fax them to 330-454-5745.

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