MOUNTAIN LAKES, NJ – The Mental Health Association of Morris County (MHAMC) will hold its 13th Annual Food for Thought Celebration on Monday, October 5, 2015 at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. The evening begins with a VIP Business Networking Reception from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. followed by the Premier Tasting Event from 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Congressman Leonard Lance, the evening’s keynote speaker, will be presented with the MHAMC Legislative Leadership Award for his work on the Excellence in Mental Health and Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Acts. 

“We’re extremely pleased to be honoring a dedicated public servant like Congressman Lance who has fought and succeeded in strengthening our Nation’s mental health services and championed policies to combat suicide,” said Lou Schwarz, President and CEO of MHAMC. “His Excellence in Mental Health Act bipartisan legislation is improving quality standards for our community mental health centers and expanding access to those in our communities who truly need such services."

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Food for Thought guests will sample premier dishes from Morris County-area restaurants, including Caffe NaVona, Hibiscus, Provesi, Olive Lucy’s, MOR, Delightful Abundance, Market Taverne, Provesi, Ravino Pasta, and Ava’s Cupcakes. The event will also include live and silent auctions and a Tricky tray Raffle featuring restaurant gift certificates, spa packages, and other interesting items donated by local businesses and individuals.

During the evening’s ceremonies, Community Leadership Awards will be given to Elizabeth ‘Betsey’ Hall, recently retired President and CEO of Homeless Solutions, and Janet Monroe, CEO of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, for their exceptional leadership in developing programs that support people living with mental illness.

MHAMC Board Vice Chairperson, Joseph L. Dancsak Sr., will be honored with a Community Volunteer Award. A special Community Volunteer Award will be given in honor of the late Elizabeth (Libby) Dorl, former MHAMC Board Member and MHAMC employee who worked tirelessly on behalf of homeless people in Morris County. First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Mountain Lakes, will be honored with Community Partner Awards for their comprehensive support of the MHAMC Educational Assistance Fund, Edna’s Haven program, and for hosting dinners and providing resources to agency clients.

In addition to being an always enjoyable culinary experience, all funds raised at Food for Thought go to support the work of the non-for-profit MHAMC– to serve people with severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, while supporting their families and educating the community. In 2014, MHAMC staff served more than 5,000 Morris County residents with integrated programs and services. These vital programs support people to live well outside of psychiatric hospitals, provide homeless outreach to transition individuals from the streets to housing and work, and various other initiatives that support an individual’s wellness.

Tickets for the VIP Reception are $100 and include admission to the Tasting Event.  Tickets for the Tasting Event are $65 in advance, $75 at the door. 

MHAMC thanks its sponsors including: Eddy’s Total Auto Care, Open Road Mazda, SASCO/Selective Insurance Services, Margaret Stone and Jonathan Dee, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Nisivoccia, Furniture House, and Benefit Foundation of America.

To become a sponsor or purchase tickets for Food for Thought, visit the MHAMC website:https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/MentalHealthAssociationofM/OnlineRegistration.html  or contact Barb Flynn at 973-334-3496 or Events@mhamorris.org.

About Mental Health Association of Morris County

Founded in 1953, the MHAMC is a 501©(3) non-profit organization that works to promote mental health and to support and empower people in recovery from mental illness through effective services, education, and advocacy. Current services include information and referral, homeless outreach, supportive housing, consumer empowerment, and disaster response.