News & Events

NAMI’s Soup and Cookie Jar Sales return

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Erie County’s popular soup and cookie jars are back! We’re hoping to have plenty of jars for the holiday season for sale. This year’s sale will feature the following recipes:

Cookies: Santa’s Extreme Cookies (your basic chocolate chip cookie made extreme with oatmeal, M&M’s, and a few secret spices), Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, and the new Munchy Crunchy Cookies (the perfect sweet and salty cookies loaded with chocolate chips, coconut, and crunchy cereal)

Soups: Merry Minestrone, Potato, and Friendship

Soup and cookie jars are $5, and they are now available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit NAMI’s free Family-to-Family and Peer-to-Peer Programs.

We are offering three easy ways to place your order: online by visiting our website, over the phone, or stopping by the office. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for you to call in or stop by.

If you order ahead, we can have your order ready when you stop in! Soup and cookie jars make a great gift for your coworkers, neighbors, or children’s teachers, and you will know that the gift you purchase supports a great cause!

NAMI Hosts First 90s Dance Party

90s Dance Party Saturday November 3 8p.m. to midnight at Rainbow Gardens $20 a person

On Saturday, November 3rd, NAMI will host our first ever 90s Dance Party! This rad event will take place at Rainbow Gardens, starting at 8 p.m. and last until midnight. It’s going to be “Supa Dupa Fly!”

Tickets for the dance are $20 per person. DJ Tony B will be playing all of your favorite 90s tracks and The Big Cheese Food Truck will have delicious snacks. The dance will feature plenty of totally rad glow sticks, slap bracelets, and an unreal light show.

Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite 90s gear, so break out your Starter Jackets and Doc Martins! All proceeds from the dance will stay in Erie County to help individuals, families, and children facing the challenges of mental illness.

Tickets are available online at 90sDancePartyErie.com, as well as locations across Erie including: The Beer & Pop Discount Warehouse, The Brewerie At Union Station, A Compassionate Hart Massage Therapy, Coventina Day Spa, Krauza Family Chiropractic, and various Northwest Saving Banks in the Erie Area.

For more information on the 90s Dance Party, please visit www.90sdancepartyerie.com. Additional information on NAMI of Erie County can be found online at www.NAMIerie.org.

Roar on the Shore® Names NAMI Homefront as 2019 Charity Recipient

Mental Health Program to Help Veterans and their Families

NAMI of Erie County was announced as the 2019 recipient of Roar on the Shore® Bike Week to help support veterans and their families through NAMI’s new NAMI Homefront program. To be launched next year in Erie, NAMI Homefront is a free, educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and veterans with mental health conditions.

“This well-respected organization dedicates its efforts toward education and advocacy, and Roar on the Shore® is pleased to help make this program a reality,” said Ralph J. Pontillo, Roar® executive director. “Since motorcyclists are advocates and supporters of programs and services that help the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces, the local NAMI Homefront is a perfect fit for next year’s Roar on the Shore® Bike Week.”

Each year, the Manufacturer and Business Association (MBA) and Roar on the Shore® Board of Directors select a designated charity from an exceptional list of nonprofit service organizations. The 2019 motorcycle rally will take place in downtown Erie from July 17-21.

“We are honored to have been chosen as the recipient for Bike Week,” said Denise L. Kolivoski, MBA, NAMI Executive Director. “Being able to bring NAMI Homefront to Erie will allow us to provide help and support to veterans and their families right here in Erie County. I’d like to thank the Manufacturer and Business Association and the Roar on the Shore® Board of Directors for their support. ”

Based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of veterans living with mental health conditions.

To date, the MBA and Roar® boards have donated approximately $920,000 to charitable organizations, including the John Kanzius Cancer Research Fund, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie, local Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans, SafeNet, Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign, Boys & Girls Club of Erie, St. Patrick’s Haven, Erie Homes for Children and Adults, St. Martin Center, Mercy Center for Women, and the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center.

October 7th – 13th is Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends, or coworkers. Despite mental illnesses’ reach and prevalence, stigma and misunderstanding are also, unfortunately, widespread.

That is why each year, during the first full week of October, NAMI and participants across the country raise awareness of mental illness. Each year, we educate the public, fight stigma, and provide support.

The theme of this year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is Cure Stigma. Stigma is toxic to an individual’s mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear, and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.
As part of MIAW, NAMI of Erie County is promoting our Exploring the Arts with NAMI (ETA) event taking place October 15th, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., to help fight stigma starting at a young age. We will also be celebrating the graduation of our first NAMI Basics class, as well as participating in the YMCA Healthy Living & Wellness Fair, on October 12th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Eastside YMCA.

ETA takes place at the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum where children will explore how art and creativity can positively affect mental health and wellness. The event is open to the public and St. Martin Center will have over 50 students in attendance.

The children will enjoy a fun-filled day of music, art, and mental health education that allows them to explore how art affects mental health and wellness.
Local musician, Lori Burke, whose work has been featured on Sesame Street will perform a mini-concert for the kids. Children will get a chance to see a variety of instruments, as well as make their own out of recyclable materials.

Funding for ETA is partially provided in part by funding from The Erie Women’s Fund.

 

Join NAMI for Erie Gives Day and Help Support Exploring the Arts and NAMI Basics

This year’s Erie Gives Day is right around the corner! Erie Gives Day is Tuesday, August 14, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
This year for Erie Gives Day, NAMI of Erie County is asking for donations to help support Exploring the Arts, as well as our newest program, NAMI Basics. Both programs focus on children and family members of children facing the challenges of mental illness. Donating to NAMI on Erie Gives Day through their website will help enable families and children to better understand mental illness and fight the stigma associated with mental illness.
The minimum gift is $25. There is no limit to the amount of money you may give. The Erie Community Foundation and their sponsors will enhance donors’ gift by providing a $300,000 prorated match to each gift made to a nonprofit.
All donations made to NAMI of Erie County stay right here in Erie County and directly support our programs and services. It is through donations, like yours, that NAMI is able to offer these programs and services free of charge. Together, we can eliminate the negative stigmas that surround mental illness and remove barriers for individuals and families facing a mental health challenge.

NAMI to Host Fourth Annual Guns & Hoses Softball Tournament

On Saturday, August 18, join NAMI for the 4th Annual Guns & Hoses charity softball game.

Tickets for the game are $13 and include admission to the SeaWolves game at 7 p.m. The game will feature the Erie Police Department, PA State Police Troop E, Erie County Fire Departments, and Millcreek Fire Department.

Guns & Hoses will kick off at 11 a.m. at UPMC Park and lasts until 4 p.m. in tournament style play. For every ticket sold, NAMI will receive a donation, which will benefit our free educational programs. In order for NAMI to receive the donation, you must mention you are attending the Guns & Hoses game when purchasing from the box office or purchase directly from a participating player.

The qualifying games will be two four-inning games. At 2 p.m., the two winning teams will face off in a playoff game, concluding at 4 p.m. The event will feature raffle baskets, a 50/50 drawing, and T-shirts for sale.

All proceeds from the event will stay in Erie County to benefit NAMI of Erie County’s programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI Benefits from Fourth Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run

On Saturday, July 14, NAMI was the beneficiary of the 4th Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run. The dice run was held to raise awareness for individuals affected by mental illness. Participants started the Dice Run at Harley-Davidson of Erie. Approximately 80 bikers registered for the dice run, which coincided with Harley-Davidson of Erie’s annual Bike Fest. At the end of the dice run, there was an after-party at Scooters with food, drinks, and a chance to win prizes.

“The Dice Run is a great, fun way to raise awareness for mental illness,” Denise L. Kolivoski, MBA, NAMI’s Executive Director. “We’re so grateful to benefit from such a great event and Missy Rininger does such a good job organizing everything.”
All proceeds from the event will stay in Erie County to benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free educational programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI Receives Grant for New Program

 

On July 12, NAMI of Erie County received a generous grant from The Erie Women’s Fund for a brand-new program. The Erie Women’s Fund’s donation of $60,000 will go towards starting a new program called NAMI Basics.

Members from The Erie Women’s Fund (EWF), a donor advised fund of The Erie Community Foundation, presented a check for $60,000 to NAMI to launch a pilot session of a nationally recognized program called NAMI Basics. Guy Sheldon (Left front), Board President of NAMI, Janet Peters (left back), Grants Committee Chairperson of EWF, Robin Scheppner (far right), Steering Committee Chairperson of EWF and Denise L. Kolivoski (middle right), MBA, Executive Director of NAMI, met for a formal check presentation.
NAMI Basics is a free, six-week education program for parents and family caregivers of children and teens who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or have already been diagnosed. NAMI Basics is offered in a group setting so you can connect with other people face-to-face.

The mission of The Erie Women’s Fund is “Empowering Women and Families.” EWF educates and inspires its members to positively impact the lives of Erie County women through philanthropy and community engagement. EWF provides financial grants, hosts enriching educational forums and engages members through informational meetings and social gatherings throughout the Erie community.

One in five individuals are impacted each year by mental illness – that means over 55,000 residents in Erie County are affected. NAMI Basics is designed to better equip parents, caregivers, and loved ones of an individual living with mental illness to show compassion, improve communication, and reduce stigma of mental illness.
NAMI Basics is made possible by a grant from The Erie Women’s Fund.


For more information on NAMI Basics, visit namierie.org/programs or call us at (814) 456-1773.

Fourth Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run

 

On Saturday July 14, join NAMI for the 4th Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run.

Registration will kick off at Harley-Davidson of Erie, 3712 West 12th Street at 11:00 a.m. The first out will take place at noon with the last out leaving at 1:00 p.m.

Dice run will end at Scooter’s, 2802 Old French Road. At the conclusion of the dice run, an after party at Scooter’s will take place from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for the 4th Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run are $10 per person. The cost of the tickets includes the dice run and admission to the after party.

All proceeds from the event will stay in Erie County to benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free educational programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing is Another Fabulous Success!

On June 22, NAMI of Erie County held its Sixth Annual Fabulous Golf Outing at Venango Valley Inn and Golf Course.  Despite rain showers, golfers were able to play nine holes and they helped us exceed our fundraising goal by raising over $26,000 for our free programs and services, ensuring that no family is ever turned away from the education they deserve. Thank you, Erie community, for stepping up and making a difference!

Golfers enjoyed a FABULOUS day beginning with live music by Mike Trott, microbrews courtesy of the Brewerie at Union Station, and samples from Luminary Distilling. DJ Tony B played your favorite classic rock hits while golfers were on the course.

Participants also competed for the Golden Boa Award and $3,000 in fabulous team prizes. Congratulations to Moore Research for taking home the first place Golden Boa trophy this year. Second place was The Greater Erie Area Action Committee (GECAC) and third place went to Highmark. Moore Research, GECAC, and Highmark have supported the Fabulous Golf Outing since its inception. Left to right: Scott Moore, Colleen Moore-Mezler, CEO of Moore Research, Denise L. Kolivoski, MBA, Executive Director of NAMI, Lindsay Moore, Director of Research and Insights and David Schumacher.

NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing would not be possible without our sponsors.  Some of our FABULOUS sponsors this year included: Accudyn, Forest Park Honda, GECAC, Great Lakes Metal Finishing, Harley Davidson, Highmark, The HUB, Lamar Advertising, Lilly Broadcasting – the stations of WICU 12, WSEE, the CW and MeTV, Maloney, Reed, & Scarpitti, Miller Travel, Northwest Saving Bank, PSB Industries, and UPMC Health Plan.

Proceeds benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free educational programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them with hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing is not only a great time, but it creates an environment that starts the conversation about mental health. Mark your calendars for next year’s event on June 21, 2019!