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Local Nonprofit Brings Mardi Gras to Chicago for Mental Health Awareness

CHICAGO, IL. – On Saturday, February 25, 2023, following the official Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana, The Chicago based Idell-McCarthy Foundation will kick off the year with its inaugural Mardi Gras for Mental Health Gala.

This evening of celebration will feature live entertainment, curated art & photo exhibits, authentic New Orleans cuisine & drinks, festive appearances, and more. “Our goal is to increase awareness and education about mental health in the communities we serve, expand our group therapy programs, and recognize the professionals on the frontlines of this widespread social issue. “The reality is if you’re not adversely impacted mentally and emotionally by everything we’re facing in this world, someone you love is. One way or another, it affects you and becomes your problem. We’re in a collective crisis. We need one another now more than ever.” says Executive Director, Sharita Cenac.

The event aims to create balance from the natural heaviness that comes from doing this work. It will feature a live performance from Chicago native singer, songwriter, master trumpeter Mario Abney & the Windy City Ramblers brass band. Official Mardi Gras Indians are traveling all the way from New Orleans to share their traditions & show their support. Attendees will get a taste of authentic creole food prepared by Louisiana native Chef Allen Rochelle, who currently resides in Chicago. The festivities will conclude with a traditional Mardi Gras second line for patrons to revel in. It’s sure to be a night to remember for a good cause!

The Idell-McCarthy foundation was founded in 2020, setting out on a mission to increase the welfare & well-being of others by contributing to their individual growth & development, and mental health & wellness. The organization also focuses on continuing education via social service partnerships, life-long learning programs, and by serving as a bridge to mental health & therapeutic services. The founding belief is that education, awareness, and access are the greatest pathways to improve mental health and achieve an overall better quality of life.

To date, the organization has several programs that fulfill this mission including:

  • PIECES OF A MAN – 5 part men’s empowerment/group therapy series

  • STRENGTH OF A WOMAN – 5 part women’s empowerment/group therapy series

  • THERAPY FUND – assist w/access to individual therapy

  • A SECOND CHANCE TO DREAM FUND – scholarship fund to support continuing education for women, particularly moms to further their education and earning power.

Their goal is to raise $50,000 this year to expand their programs, operations, and staffing needs. Most importantly, the foundation seeks to pour back into the community and restore hope by giving others a second chance to rediscover the joy and light in their lives.

You can get your tickets here!

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