Update / David Mulder Memorial Fund for Mental Health, May 13, 2015

We write to you to honor David, who would have been 32 today, and to report on the progress of his fund.  It is dedicated to addressing mental health issues, the first of its kind in the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF).  When we wrote to you in June last year we had raised nearly $60,000. With your help we have created a self-sustaining fund of nearly $75,000 to date.

Last year David’s Fund, in conjunction with ECF, granted $4,730 to Erika’s Lighthouse – A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression.  This was an excellent choice because this program is designed to promote good mental health for students at ETHS and its middle schools, where David and Joanna proudly attended.  The grant helped to strengthen existing depression awareness programs, including ongoing support of the ETHS Teen Club and training for the ETHS Panel Program, and introduced a new video on depression awareness that was made available to the community without charge.  Earlier this spring, Susan went to ETHS with Sara Schastok, ECF’s President and CEO, and watched an impressive presentation by Erika’s Lighthouse staff, interns, and high school panel members to ETHS students about depression, the ways to erase the stigma attached to discussing mental health issues, and how students can receive help or how to get help for a friend battling depression.

On May 27, 2015, David’s fund will be making a second grant to another mental health organization that will be announced by ECF on that day. We will provide updates from time to time on David’s blog at davidallenmulder.wordpress.com.

April 27th marked one year since David passed away.  We had a memorial gathering in D’s honor.  We have posted some pictures from that event and memories friends recorded.  One friend wrote: “I remember when I was hanging out with Dave and I told him I was hungry he said don’t worry take this frozen food home and anytime you don’t have anything to eat call me!”  Another wrote, “I’ll never forget how you took me in when I had nowhere to go.  And for that I love you and thank you.”  There are more great memories to be shared on the blog.

Try to save Saturday, August 22, 2015 for an afternoon picnic in Lovelace Park, in northwest Evanston, to honor David’s memory.  His favorite thing to do was make sausage, so we will be grilling lots of homemade sausage and providing other good food.  Check the blog for updates on the picnic plans.

We want to thank you again for honoring David and our family by creating such a wonderful legacy fund to address mental health issues here in Evanston.  If you wish to make another contribution you can call ECF at 847.492.0990, give online at evanstonforever.org, or mail a contribution to Evanston Community Foundation, 1560 Sherman Ave., Suite 535, Evanston, IL 60201. Be sure to specify that your gift is made to the David Mulder Mental Health Fund.

We hope to see you at the August picnic, if not sooner.

Best,

Mike, Susan, Joanna & Peter

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