When Brandon Lillard, a founding board member of I Am Beacon, and best known by Beacon High School alums as the original “Mr. Beacon High,” asked me to be part of the planning of I Am Beacon’s second major awareness project for mental health, the ”Rock Out 4 Mental Health” Concert on June 1st, 2019 at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, I said yes immediately.
As a mother of young children, I want to make sure they have a safe space to express their minds. As a new mother in general, I see and experience the mental health challenges that any parent faces. As a person living in Beacon, I have learned from my friends involved in mental health support about challenges that any person can face at any time. Removing the stigma about that is important to me, and as a blogger, improving awareness to it to make it easier to access is part of why I started A Little Beacon Blog - to get the word out about what is happening and available here.
The planning for this event would be fast, but we could do it. I Am Beacon’s first outreach project for Mental Health awareness was and continues to be the yellow ribbons campaign on Main Street they do with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Mid-Hudson. You’ll be seeing those ribbons again this year.
Bringing Resources and People Closer Together Through Music
This concert was created as a vibrant and hopeful hub where people can get closer to organizations who provide a variety of mental health services. The aim is to bring these services to people who may not have otherwise known about them. Usually service events like this are at school functions on a random Wednesday night (I went to one!). Now, the whole family can come and enjoy being by the Hudson River rocking out to music, and getting to know these local services who have changed the lives of so many.
You’ll be rocking out to The Costellos, Noetic, Tony E., Dilson Hernandez, and Charge the Mound while your Co-MCs for the day, Rueben Simmons and Himali Pandya, Special Projects Manager for Astor Services for Children and Families, introduce you to the mental health resource providers who are available to meet during the day.
(Insider Scoop: Himali’s husband is performing with his band at the concert)
Here’s Where Your Part Comes In
“Rock Out 4 Mental Health” is currently seeking the following sponsor and vendor opportunities, but time is limited. We will be putting sponsors on the flyer, printing it and distributing it so we need to know who’s in for sponsorship! My design agency, Katie James, Inc. and lead designer Allie Bopp designed the flyer, banner, logo and other branding assets, so I have a tiny say on when these go to print (but we can’t wait long!)
Title Sponsor: Only 1 available. The Title Sponsor gets their logo on the Banner that will be hanging above Main Street closer to the event, and on T-Shirts. We can only print t-shirts with a title sponsor. Will your business be the reason we can make the shirts? Claim it here >
Must sign up within the week for print deadline!
Gold Sponsor: Only 6 available. These sponsors get their logos printed on the flyer, which will be distributed in Beacon and beyond. Logo also included on the event program. Claim it here >
Must sign up within the week for print deadline!
Silver Sponsor: More available, and includes logo on the event website. You have a bit more time on this one, since we are adding your logo to the “Rock Out 4 Mental Health” website. Claim it here >
Bronze Sponsor: Awesomeness. Great for businesses who want to show their support for Mental Health awareness and accessibility. Claim it here >
Vendor Opportunities: Food vendors are welcome, and businesses who provide a wellness related product or service to people are invited to have a vendor spot down at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park. Only 15-20 spots available. Food and business vendors can register here. Those organizations who are nonprofits can have a spot for free and can register here.
These community projects are what keep Beacon enriched with the depth of community it is known for, and keep Beacon an ongoing advocate for people’s well-beings.
Thank you to the following sponsors and vendors who have signed on so far!
Astor Services for Children & Families
Children's Home of Poughkeepsie
DC Dept of Behavioral & Community Health
I Am Beacon
Premier Medical Group
MidHudson Valley Federal Credit Union
Why This Concert? Why Now?
One of the creators behind the event is Reuben Simmons, a founding board member of I Am Beacon, along with his sister, Brooke Simmons, and Brandon Lillard. Reuben grew up in Beacon, volunteering to clean up its streets in his youth, and co-created I Am Beacon to keep opportunities like this available to the people.
Says Reuben of the inspiration to create the “Rock Out 4 Mental Health” concert: “After attending the City of Beacon’s Workshop in December 2018 which discussed the opioid crisis in our area, I felt an obligation as a community leader to do more. I have attended many conferences all over the country in my time as a labor leader, and heard the opioid crisis happening in many communities all over. Hearing the same issues from professionals like Beacon’s Police Chief and Dutchess County’s Behavior and Community Department at the workshop got me to start brainstorming on what could be done to help. Help promote services, help end the stigma, help educate people.”
The Line-Up - Music and Programming
This concert was created as a vibrant and hopeful hub where people can get closer to organizations who provide a variety of mental health services. The aim is to bring these services to people who may not have otherwise known about them. This way, you’ll be rocking out to The Costellos, Noetic, Tony E., Dilson Hernandez, and Charge the Mound while your Co-MCs for the day, Rueban Simmons and Himali Pandya, Special Projects Manager for Astor Services for Children and Families, whose husband is also performing with his band at the concert.
Helpline For Everyone
“We hope to reach as many Dutchess County residents as possible to inform them about the many resources available for help and support. The Dutchess County Helpline and the Stabilization Center are available to residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is always someone available who can help,” says Jean-Marie Niebuhr, Prevention and Harm Reduction Coordinator.
If you take anything away from this event, or knowing about this event, know about this: The Dutchess County Helpline. Available to anyone to use at any time, 24/7. Use it as an information center to find other resources: CALL or TEXT 845-485-9700.
Call or text any time to talk live to a qualified mental health professional. Regardless of the issue, the HELPLINE will provide counseling or link you to services.