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‘Shine a Light on Mental Illness’ featuring Jennifer Holliday

Inspiring Hope Dinner: “Shining a Light On Mental Illness” The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota • 6:30 -10:30 p.m. • Cocktail Attire

This year’s Inspiring Hope Dinner will feature Grammy, Drama Desk, and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Jennifer Holliday. The original star of “Dreamgirls” will share the story of her struggles with depression and multiple sclerosis, then dazzle us with a sparkling musical performance.

The dinner will also feature dancing to the music of Quintessence, a performance by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Young Artists Ensemble, and a fabulous online silent auction featuring unique local experiences.

Proceeds will benefit local mental health services provided by Harvest House and Teen Court of Sarasota, and the cutting-edge research funded by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Inspiring Hope Dinner: “Shining a Light On Mental Illness”
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota • 6:30 -10:30 p.m. • Cocktail Attire

Keynote Speaker and Performer: Jennifer Holliday

Lee and Bob Peterson Legacy Honorees: Joan and Bob Geyer, Academy at Glengary

Event Chair: Amie Austin, Ph.D.

Event Committee Chairs: Sarah Karp and Taylor Karp Teymuri

2023 Beneficiaries

Brain Behavior REsearch Foundation logo

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to breakthroughs in scientific research. Since 1987, the foundation has awarded more than $430 million, funding more than 6,200 grants to more than 5,100 scientists worldwide.

Harvest House

Harvest House is a nonprofit supportive housing provider with eight campuses, 25 affordable rentals, and 380 beds throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties. Harvest House serves homeless families, youths ages 16-24, and adults with a history of incarceration and substance abuse issues. The organization works to break the generational cycle of homelessness and trauma by providing personal development workshops and mental health services. Visit

Teen Court of Sarasota logo

Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc. offers a second chance for students who have been referred for minor legal infractions. The organization provides students, ages 8-18, with educational youth development activities designed to meet the specific needs of at-risk youth as well as student volunteers. Case managers provide the tools for clients – including access to free mental health services – to be successful so they feel encouraged and motivated to move on with law-abiding behavior without their records being tarnished. Visit