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10th Annual Mental Health America of Fort Bend County’s

Beacon of Hope Banquet: A Children’s Theme, May 8th. 

By Connie Kwan-Wong   |    Photography by Rubi Vega and Herb Hochman.  |     Date: May 8, 2015

Beacon of Hope Banquet:A Children’s Theme, May 8th. 


10th Annual Mental Health America of Fort Bend County’s Beacon of Hope Banquet: A Children’s Theme, May 8th.  


Since 1989, Mental Health America of Fort Bend County (MHAFBC) has provided resource information to parents, students, children, families and providers seeking to know more about mental illness and available treatments. Through education and training MHAFBC helps anyone who needs resources and information to meet the mental health needs of Fort Bend County.      


During Mental Health Awareness Month, Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land was the venue for the10th Annual MHAFBC Beacon of Hope Banquet, recognizing Children’s Mental Health Issues. The banquet was opened with the National Anthem sung by Debbie Fancher. The Keynote Speakers for the event were Elizabeth McIngvale Cegelski and her father, "Mattress Mack" Jim McIngvale, who gave a personal story of the challenges of childhood and mental health disorders. On hand were Fort Bend County Resident Emcees, Jake Messinger and James Ives, who both entertained and informed. Co-Chairs of the banquet were Teresa Cox Reading, who is Chair of MHAFBC, and board member Laura Richard. Inclusive of the program were highlights with the MHA of Greater Houston partnering with MHAFBC for a Children’s Art Contest, a book signing for Lisa Giesler’s new book “Uncluttered,” and a presentation by Kate Johnson-Patagoc with the Texana Children’s Autism Center, to which 10% of the proceeds from the banquet will be awarded. 


Also sharing her talent with MHAFBC that night was Silhouette Artist Cindi Rose, who delighted many with her artistry. A beautiful hand-designed crystal clutch purse, donated generously by Connie Kwan-Wong, was also a highlight of the banquet.  Live and silent auctions were focused 

focused around a “Children’s Theme” and International Artist Ayad Faydel’s painting of the “Two Clowns” was featured in the live auction. As every year, there are awards that are presented to individuals who go over and beyond advocating for Mental Health. This year, the Gay Williams Beacon of Hope Award went to Representative Rick Miller for his perseverance in the 84th legislative session to improve mental health concerns. The Bell Ringer Community Service Award recipient was Mary Kiernan, who has given so much with education and resources to FBISD and related coalitions. 


According to the CDC, it is estimated that 13–20 percent of children living in the United States (up to 1 out of 5 children) experience a Mental Disorder in a given year.

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