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Madison Area YMCA
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For Immediate Release
PHOTO CAPTION: The Community Mental Health Initiative of the Madison Area YMCA accepted a generous donation from the Paint the Town Yellow campaign. Whitny Sobala, co-founder of UMEWE, an art and design-based social benefit collaborative; Madison Area YMCA Community & Member Engagement Manager Gwen Riddick; Madison Area YMCA Project Community Pride Director Lisa Sprague and Sally Lebwohl of the Peg Williams Gallery. Not pictured: Jane Quinn of the Peg Williams Gallery and Barb Short of Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub.
(Madison, NJ) – July 6, 2017—The Community Mental Health Initiative of the Madison Area YMCA accepted a generous donation from organizers of Paint the Town Yellow, a campaign to encourage optimism and to shine a light on depression, that was celebrated town-wide in the spring.
“On behalf of UMEWE.org, Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub, the Downtown Development Commission, The Borough of Madison, The Madison Chamber of Commerce and the participating businesses, organizations and community members of Madison, we are excited to share that our first-ever Optimism in Action: Paint the Town Yellow initiative helped to raise $2116.27 for the Madison Area YMCA's Community Mental Health Initiative,” said Whitny Sobala, co-founder of UMEWE, an art and design-based social benefit collaborative.
“We are excited to accept this donation,” said Madison Area YMCA Project Community Pride Director Lisa Sprague, who oversees the Y’s Community Mental Health Initiative. “Bringing awareness to mental health and lowering the stigma associated with mental illness is a great step forward to understanding mental health and brightening lives in our community.”
The Y joined other Madison businesses and organizations in support of Paint the Town Yellow and in adopting optimism-inspired art from New Jersey artists to spread awareness of depression and mental health and to increase optimism. Art was on display in the lobby of the Family Center on Kings Road as well as throughout downtown businesses. More than 60 artists and 30 organizations united to Shine a Light on Depression, by creating Optimistic art, activities and events— all featuring International Optimism Yellow (a.k.a. ‘INT-O Yellow’) and UMEWE.org (supporting Optimism in the Arts).
The funds were generated through a combination of efforts that included: INT-O Yellow art sales & auction from Peg Williams Gallery @ Short Stories and Taste of Madison; "I'm INT-O Yellow" pin sales from Short Stories and other participating businesses; INT-O Yellow painting class proceeds (KLSIR); INT-O Yellow-themed barre class donations from The Bar Method Madison; International Day of Happiness percentage of store proceeds from Madison PhotoPlus and Cambridge Street Papers and "Optimism in Action" t-shirt sales by the Madison Public School District.
Organizers wish to thank all who were involved to help not only raise funds, but who helped drive awareness of the campaign and most importantly help shine a light on depression including Sally Lebwohl and Jane Quinn of the Peg Williams Gallery, the 30+ participating artists, TAP into Madison, The Madison Eagle, The Daily Record, Adam's Dental, Ann Pelino Integrative Fitness, Bar Method Madison, Beneath the Surface, The Blue Purl, Cambridge Street Papers, Chaise Fitness, Chatham Bookseller, Chef Loryn's, Cleaners Advantage, Drew University, FDU Federal Credit Union, Gary's Wine & Marketplace, Hat Shop, Healthy Italia La Buona Cucina, Jolie, Kienlen Lattmann Sotheby's International Realty, Kitts & Co., MACA, Madison Health Department, Madison Pharmacy, Madison PhotoPlus, Madison Public Library, Madison Mud Clay Studio, The Madison Area YMCA, The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, PC Problems, Redux, Rubino Group OBGYN, Short Stories, Starbucks, Tons of Toys, Waxing the City, Weichert Realtors and Whole Foods!
The Y’s Community Mental Health Initiative raises awareness and lowers the stigma associated with mental illness. The initiative also focuses on reducing barriers to mental health care by providing community members with knowledge and skills to enhance their ability to help. The YMCA provides opportunities to become certified in Mental Health First Aid. An evidence-based skills training course, Mental Health First Aid is designed for non-mental health professionals, preparing them to know how to help reduce the social distance between people with mental illnesses and others.
The Madison Area YMCA is a 501c3 cause-driven charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.