Courage to Come Back chair Lorne Segal, left, with David Richardson, president of Octaform, a longtime supporter of Coast Mental Health and a personal friend of Segal’s, says a few words about the cause and his commitment to mental health before donating $50,000. (photo by Avi Dhillon Photography)
A record $1.57 million was raised at the 19th Annual Courage to Come Back Awards on May 16 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where more than 1,500 people gathered to celebrate the extraordinary stories of triumph over adversity of the six awards recipients.
Each year, Coast Mental Health organizes this awards gala, an evening to recognize six remarkable British Columbians. Funds raised will go directly to Coast Mental Health to support those living with mental illness. The event was chaired by Lorne Segal, president of Kingswood Properties Ltd., and attended by many of British Columbia’s most notable business leaders and philanthropists.
After sharing their stories of how they have “come back to give back” in their communities, each of the six Courage to Come Back Award recipients received a glass sculpture designed by Musqueam artist Susan A. Point. This year’s recipients, with the category noted in parentheses, were Deborah Carter, Vancouver (addiction); Esther Matsubuchi, North Vancouver (social adversity); John Westhaver, Victoria (physical rehabilitation); Stephen Scott, Vancouver (medical); Rachel Fehr, Surrey (mental health); and Richard Quan, Vancouver (youth).
Westhaver perfectly captured the essence of the evening: “Looking back at my life, one thing I got is that anything is possible. Often we give up on our dreams because something gets in our way or we lose sight of our dreams. I invite you to never give up on your dreams. Anything is possible. The stories you have heard tonight are living proof.”
For the inspirational stories of this year’s Courage to Come Back Award recipients, visit couragetocomeback.ca/2017-recipients.
For 45 years, Coast Mental Health has helped provide housing, support services, and employment for people driven to recover from mental illness. Each program and service places clients at the centre of their own recovery. Coast Mental Health believes that recovery from mental illness is possible, but only when communities come together to break the silence around it, provide support and uplift the people it impacts. Coast Mental Health Foundation raises funds exclusively for Coast Mental Health. To find out more about the programs and services offered by Coast Mental Health, visit coastmentalhealth.com.