A Celebration of Life: New Jersey Returns in Style

On Thursday, September 15, 2022, nearly 300 friends and supporters of Minding Your Mind reunited at the Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club for the second A Celebration of Life: New Jersey. The first was held in 2019 with great success, but the pandemic delayed a follow-up, and it surely was worth the wait.

The highlight of the evening was a presentation by Minding Your Mind’s Guy Iacono and  Planning Committee chairperson Kate Lancaster, discussing the growing need for mental health education with Minding Your Mind’s mission to honor every request, and the inspiring commitment of all in the room to further conversations about suicide prevention and mental health. Kate then presented the Champion of Hope Award to Joseph Camarota, founder of the North Brunswick Mental Health Awareness 5K. Joseph shared his personal mental health journey with a visibly moved crowd. 

The capstone of the presentation was announced by Minding Your Mind executive director Trish Larsen, a challenge gift that would match all the funds raised at the event up to $100,000. 

A Celebration of Life began in 2011 to honor the memory of Kyle Craig, a 21-year-old Spring Lake, NJ, native and student at Vanderbilt University who took his life in May of 2010. Read more about Kyle and the event’s origin story here.

Take a whirlwind trip through the evening with us in the video below!


“We are grateful to everyone whose came out to welcome this event back to New Jersey, honoring the memory of Kyle Craig and so many others whose lit our world but left us too soon,” shares Trish Larsen, Minding Your Mind executive director. “Last year, we completed more than 1,800 programs, by far the most since Minding Your Mind began in 2007. Based on the critical need for mental health education, and the growing awareness among communities that intervention before a crisis is fundamental, and the number of programs already scheduled, we anticipate far exceeding that number this school year. The funds raised at this event will ensure that we never have to say ‘no’ to a school and are able to continue reaching as many students and supporting adults as we possibly can. Thank you to everyone who was involved and attended.”

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