Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Women H·E·R·E holds first "Beacon of Hope" Luncheon

Women H·E·R·E, the auxiliary group of the I AM H·E·R·E Coalition, held its first “Beacon of Hope” Luncheon Wednesday, January 27, featuring guest speaker Terry Wise—and what an event it was! More than 150 people gathered to learn about this new group that offers support, encouragement and resources to women with a personal stake in the mental or emotional health of a young person.

Luncheon Team

Founder Barb Farmer recounted her vision for such a group based on her five-year personal journey. Women H·E·R·E launched in September and meets on the first day of each month at Bread Winner’s Café at Inwood and Lovers Lane.

Luncheon guests also heard from Vanita Halliburton, president of the Grant Halliburton Foundation, about the Foundation’s primary initiatives, including the I AM H·E·R·E Coalition. Both of these women are inspiring so many others to talk more openly about the “silent subjects” of depression and suicide among our youth.

Terry Wise
The cornerstone of the program was Terry Wise’s presentation. The author of Waking Up: Climbing Through the Darkness, Terry shared her personal story of depression and surviving a suicide attempt as well as encouraging caregivers who care for those with mental illness. She applauded the efforts of both the Foundation and Women H·E·R·E for addressing not only the needs of teens and young adults, but also the needs of their families, an often overlooked population.

Annie Dingwall performed two songs, including "The Comfort of My Arms," for which she wrote the music and Barb Farmer wrote the lyrics. Annie is a recent graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts and a rising young performer now studying at the University of Southern California. With a silken voice reminiscent of Norah Jones, Annie's performance moved many in the audience to tears.

Annie Dingwall

The buzz as the group left was, “How can I get more involved with W·H·E·R·E and the Grant Halliburton Foundation?” As a growing organization, we have many volunteer opportunities. Call 972-744-9798 or e-mail for more information.