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24-hour virtual Ann Arbor fundraiser to benefit adults with mental health challenges

ANN ARBOR, MI – Stars from Broadway and television, a member of Congress and a plethora of health and fitness leaders will host a 24-hour virtual fundraiser for a holistically-focused residential center for young adults struggling with significant mental health challenges.

The livestream event, which kicks off at noon on Friday, Sept. 4, will raise funds for Garrett’s Space, a nonprofit addressing gaps in treatment for young adults experiencing distress due to mental health issues.

Broadway actors participating include Robert Ariza, who appeared in the Chicago production of Hamilton; Daniel Reichard, a member of the Jersey Boys cast; and Benj Pasek, co-writer of Dear Evan Hansen and “La-La Land.”

They’ll be joined by television star Toni Trucks of CBS’s “Seal Team;” musical performances by Grammy-nominated musician Mayer Hawthorne and the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club; Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn; and a number of poets, rappers and inspirational speakers who have been touched by depression and suicide, including sports broadcaster Eli Zaret.

A full list of musical performances, yoga and fitness classes and speakers can be found online, along with a link to the fundraiser.

“Our event will feature a variety of the type of healing practices that meant so much to Garrett, like yoga and meditation, and that have been known to help young adults live in what has become a very harsh world,” said Julie Halpert, co-founder and director of Garrett’s Space.

Garrett’s Space was established by Julie and Scott Halpert after their son, Garrett, died by suicide in September 2017 at the age of 23. Since its creation, Garrett’s Space has been working to establish a residential treatment center in Washtenaw County for young adults experiencing mental health challenges through the annual Yoga at the Big House event.

The nonprofit has since focused on providing immediate help to individuals ages 18 to 28 by designing a wellness group bringing struggling young adults together three days each week for peer support and healthy activities so they can connect and see that they are not alone in their struggles,” Scott Halpert said.

Garrett’s Space plans to launch the wellness group later this year.

“We are earmarking the money we raise in this Friday’s fundraiser for the creation of our residential center,” Scott Halpert said. “Establishing the residential center is the ultimate vision for Garrett’s Space and is the next step in our journey. It obviously will require significant capital both to build and operate. But it will give our community a unique support option that isn’t available elsewhere and we believe will help save lives.”

Julie Halpert said the center will be holistically focused, teaching young adults healthy coping mechanisms aimed to help them lead a fulfilling life. The nonprofit plans to offer activities like yoga, meditation, healthy cooking, journaling, art and music as well as help for rebounding from broken relationships and support to families.

The “Go 24 for Garrett’s Place” event also will feature a silent auction. For more details on how to join, visit Garrett’s Place or email Scott Halpert if you want to donate items for the silent auction.


Yoga at the Big House to raise awareness, funds for suicide prevention

UMich student’s suicide sparks mother’s work to help others

Masquerade ball to raise funds for Washtenaw County mental health advocacy group

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