Connect With...Spotlight: Young Friends of Independence Center
By Kristen Cornett
One in 4 people living in the United States has been diagnosed with some type of mental illness, however, few things are as stigmatized in today’s society as having a severe and persistent mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. But the Young Friends of Independence Center are working to eradicate this stigma and make St. Louis a better place to live, work and play.
Independence Center is a nonprofit that assists adults living with disabling mental illnesses by helping them go back to work, find safe and affordable housing, go back to school, and connect with friends and the community. Its Young Friends group, made up of professionals typically ages 21-45, work to build awareness for mental health issues and raise money for the Center’s programs. Lead by Sarah Thompson, an IC board member, the group hosts networking and social events throughout the year including monthly happy hours and a large signature event each August called Summer Fusion, a chic party that takes place on Independence Center’s exclusive rooftop deck.
Summer Fusion 2010, scheduled for August 22, offers a fusion of St. Louis’ best in music, food, cocktails and entertainment. This year’s event features delicious eats from Vin de Set, Sqwires, Bailey’s Chocolate Bar, Ricardos and more, saucy southern cocktails by Pearl Vodka, live music from Big George Brock and the Well Hungarians, exciting raffle prizes such as a week’s stay on exclusive Kiawah Island, and much more. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door, and can be purchased online at www.independencecenter.org or by calling 314-880-5403.
The Center is always looking for volunteers to get involved. If you or someone you know would like to find out more about IC or the Young Friends, visit the website at www.independencecenter.org or call 314-880-5404 and arrange a tour of our new building in the CWE.