Guest essay: Maine Center charity cruise shoves off June 10
Updated: August 29, 2012 4:48PM
The world’s economic crisis is constantly in the news. Attempts at local levels to deal with the problem have resulted in blame-finding and dollar-cutbacks in every phase of governmental budgetary funding.
Regardless of how we got here and why the money just isn’t there, a concerned individual can only write letters to politicians and wait to vote the perceived bad guys out of office at the next election.
Of course, the worst fallout always hits the segments of our society with the least political clout — people in need of social services. This is a terrible injustice, but a harsh reality of the “lifeboat” mentality that comes through in a society when resources become scarce. The only thing that changes this is when an “individual” reaches out a hand to another “individual.” We all envision ourselves being able to do this, but maybe don’t know quite how. You can help by considering our grass-roots community social-service agencies that provide daily assistance to those individuals who, through no fault of their own, are struggling.
The best way to start is with participation in a community agency fundraiser. These events provide an enjoyable time and the opportunity to further help by participating in raffles and auctions with great prizes. The money raised helps the agencies pay their bills and thus maintain their services. If there ever was a time when this extra help was important, it is now. Pick an agency that suits your comfort level. If you know someone with Down syndrome or autism, and therefore understand that these conditions are due to genetic, developmental or biochemical changes in the brain, then choose an appropriate agency to support.
If we look for a health problem that takes its toll on the largest number of people but has the least-understood mechanisms of the disease, most of us know someone with a mental-health problem and could easily opt to support a mental-health agency. Along those lines, I invite your attention to a fundraising event offered by Maine Center in Park Ridge (mental health and addiction services). This is Maine Center’s eighth annual Odyssey Cruise taking place this year on Sunday, June 10.
The Odyssey cruise ship starts boarding at Navy Pier at 11 a.m. and departs at noon sharp for a two-hour brunch (a really elegant feast) cruise on Lake Michigan. There is a complimentary champagne toast, sumptuous buffet, cash bar, music and fabulous raffles (prizes donated through concerned individuals). Tickets are $95 a person (of which $21 is a charitable donation). If the day is open, gather some friends and neighbors who may know someone who has benefited from mental-health or addiction services, and enjoy the afternoon.
Take a first step, join us, and reach out to help. Call Maine Center at (847) 232-2904 for details.
— Richard Powers, of Park Ridge, is a Maine Center board member.