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About Us

Sunshine from Darkness is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to promoting mental health. It does this primarily by raising funds for brain research and for a local mental health nonprofit that provides direct services in Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties. 

Created by the Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation, Sunshine from Darkness hosts two events each year, the Inspiring Hope Dinner and the Journey to Wellness Symposium.

Sunshine from Darkness’ broader mission is to make more people aware of the need for mental health services and for treatment of addiction disorders – and to erase the stigma of both. 

The annual events serve educational and fundraising purposes by providing local community professionals and philanthropists the opportunity to engage with the broader mental health community. 

The beneficiaries of Sunshine from Darkness’ fundraising are:

First Step of Sarasota, which offers innovative and comprehensive mental health and substance abuse programs for adults and children, including inpatient, outpatient and telehealth services. The organization offers a full array of programs addressing both the opioid-abuse and the child welfare crises. It provides intervention and detox services, including a Mothers and Infants program as well as its Student Assistance Programs, which provide mental health services in schools. In addition to being licensed by the state, First Step is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Its mission is to inspire those with mental health and addiction disorders and to transform their lives. Its vision is to create wellness and inspire a first step toward a better tomorrow.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, which is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding scientific grants that will ultimately enable people to live full, happy and productive lives. One hundred percent of donations for research goes to research selected by world-renowned scientists. Since 1987, BBRF has awarded more than $418 million to fund more than 6,000 grants to more than 5,000 leading scientists around the world.