Come Join Us…
For an evening of Hope and Inspiration honoring Our Community Members and Silent Auction

2017 Guest Speaker: Kevin Hines

Purchase Tickets  by August 28th, 2017
for Early Bird Special!

NAMI Mid-Hudson Gala Ticket

Kevin Hines is an award-winning global speaker, best-selling author, documentary filmmaker, and suicide prevention and mental health advocate who has reached millions with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. After he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, he attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Kevin’s will to live and stay mentally well has inspired people worldwide. His compelling story has touted diverse, global audiences within clergies, and universities, high schools, corporations, clergy, military, clinicians, health and medical communities, law enforcement organizations and various corporations. Thousand have communicated to Hines that his story has helped save their lives.

Kevin is a dynamo presenter who breathes Hope from his life experience.
Major Sam Cochran (ret.)
Founder of the Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT)

Powerful! Phenomenal! Captivating Story!
Emotional and Moving! Outstanding!

I am thankful to have been able to hear him speak.
Off the charts! Fantastic!

Very powerful- was in tears.
Marianne Halbert, J.D.
Criminal Justice Director
NAMI Indiana

Kevin was awesome, relevant, and top notch.
He captured everyone’s attention.
What a lovely, inspiring, encouraging event that brought Hope.
Rebecca Textor
Regional Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Staunton, VA

For more information, please visit:

2017 HOPE Award: Honoring Our PartnersExcellence Award Recipient: 

Margaret Hirst, LCSWR 
Margaret Hirst
Margaret Hirst, LCSW-R Deputy Commissioner DBDBCH Director of Community Health

Margaret Hirst is a clinical social worker and has worked for the behavioral health public sector for 39 years. She is currently the Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Behavioral & Community Health and the Director of Community Services. Ms. Hirst has extensive experience working with the mentally ill, chemically dependent and intellectually and developmentally disabled, both adults and youth.

Through the years, Margaret has helped to initiate many new services and programs such a community-based re-entry teams in adult homes, a mobile mental health program to reach individuals who have difficulty keeping appointments, treatment programs as alternatives to incarceration, including drug courts and pre-trial diversion services, and chemical dependency and mental health treatment for individuals who are intellectually and developmentally disabled. She has been an active member of the Criminal Justice Council since 1999.

2017 Catalyst for Change Award Recipient: 

Jeremy Wilber, Woodstock Town Supervisor
Jeremy Wilber
Town Supervisor, Woodstock

Jeremy Wilber was the longest-serving Town Supervisor of Woodstock, New York, having served (non-consecutively) 13 years and one day. His path to Town Supervisor ran through the Woodstock Sewer (he often referred to himself as the Jean Valjean of Woodstock Politics) since the question of how to pay for the town’s then-new system was what prompted him to run (unsuccessfully) for the first time in 1992. Jeremy loved politics, an activity he interpreted in the most classical sense of the word:  politikos—from the Greek politēs ‘citizen,’ and polis ‘city.’ For him, serving his community was a privilege.

And he served in many ways beyond Town Supervisor. He was a Little League and Babe Ruth coach for 14 years. He was unswerving in his support of the arts, writing and directing plays to raise money for community organizations such as the Woodstock Playhouse, and the Woodstock Elementary School. He occasionally acted in Bird-on-a-Cliff productions. He was also a gifted writer of fiction and nonfiction, authoring the novel Miles from Woodstock, and a final collection, Select Work, to be published this Fall.

2017 Volunteers of the Year Award:

Mary Evans,  Suzanne Thing, & Margorie Tortorella


Mary Evans

Mental illness in the family was not something Mary Evans and her husband were expecting when their daughter began having difficulties in middle school, with symptoms becoming more serious and frightening in the college years and after. For a long time, Mary worried greatly about her daughter and hoped symptoms were something that would gradually disappear. It wasn’t until she started attending NAMI support group meetings that she began to accept the reality of the situation and come to a place of empowerment. Mary’s daughter is now doing well, but Mary continued to attend NAMI, serving as a support group leader for eight years. Giving all support group attendees a safe place to tell their stories and encouraging the exchange of ideas and information were Mary’s goals for this group. Mary has worked for HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston for over thirty years as a medical librarian. Her favorite activity is playing the mountain dulcimer.


Suzanne Thing

Suzanne Thing, a former resident of New York City has lived in Kingston since 1972 and has worked as an insurance broker. Suzanne became involved with NAMI Mid-Hudson in 2010 when her older daughter was diagnosed with a Bipolar condition. After struggling to find mental health information and supports, a friend put her in touch with the NAMI group in Kingston. Suzanne attended meetings for about a year and decided to become a certified NAMI Family Support Group facilitator. For the past five years, Suzanne has been dedicated to help support other families in Ulster County. Meanwhile, her daughter’s condition has greatly improved. Other than her family including three grandchildren, her main interests are rug hooking and reading.

Marjorie Tortorella

Marjorie Tortorella is a graduate of the R.N. program of Grasslands Hospital and was the Head Nurse of a Female medical Unit (now Westchester Medical Center).  In the 1970’s, Marjorie came to Poughkeepsie and was employed as a Unit Manager and then Day Supervisor of a nursing home with 192 patients. Marjorie stayed for more than 22 years and received The First Employee of the Quarter Award of all the employees in the 17 nursing homes owned by that company. This past May marks seventeen years that Marjorie has held the position of Resource Specialist/ Adult Advocate at Mental Health America of Dutchess County.

In the late 1990’s a relative developed a deep depressive episode and in her search for resources, Marjorie found NAMI Mid-Hudson. Marjorie has volunteered for countless NAMI Mid-Hudson events and served on the NAMI Mid-Hudson Board of Directors.

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