Mental health and a special guest were at center stage during the David Lawrence Center’s 55th annual Sound Minds Gala on Thursday.
If you had asked Johnathan Heying a year ago where he’d be in life, it certainly wouldn’t be here.
“My life has been riddled with a lot of poor choices and consequential events that had been somewhat traumatic for me,” said Heying, a David Lawrence Center client.
Heying suffered from drug addiction for years. Then he lost his youngest daughter. “This past March, she would have been 20. She was suffering from drug addiction, much like I was up until recently.”
He knew he needed to do something but didn’t have the money. Then he found the David Lawrence Center. “They didn’t meet me halfway. They came 97% of the way and only asked me to literally just put my faith in their efforts.”
Thursday night, the David Lawrence Center held its 55th annual Sound Minds Gala.
Goldie Hawn was the keynote speaker. She was recently named USA Today’s Woman of the Year for her work with mental health.
She shared her own journey with anxiety in her childhood and early adulthood.
David Lawrence Center CEO Scott Burgess says the gala helps to raise money and awareness. “Our hopes are that we’re going to continue to be able to expand to meet the needs of a growing community.”
With that, they ey can give thousands of people in Southwest Florida, like Heying, a fresh start.
Burgess says the center started construction on a new mental health facility and recovery home in Collier County. Donors at events like the gala make it all possible.