Hats On for Mental Health — Vaughan
On Oct. 10, 2014, over 400 guests gathered at the Riviera Parque Dining, Banquet and Convention Centre for the 6th annual Hatsquerade in support of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The Vaudeville-themed charity gala, hosted by Hats On For Awareness, came two months after the passing of Robin Williams, whose death highlighted the need for increased awareness on mental illness. Each year, one in five Canadians lives with a mental illness, and every day, about 11 die by suicide, according to CAMH. That evening, guests watched a four-minute video of Hats On supporters sharing their stories — the theme of this year’s event. The goal? To eradicate stigma. “As someone who suffers from mental illness and who has lost someone close to them to suicide, I know the importance of raising awareness about this most important issue,” said cofounder Enza Tiberi-Checchia. Between the $150 tickets and silent auction items (namely, artist Jessica Gorlicky’s live painting in 20 minutes), the event raised $100,000.