LINWOOD – Mental health advocate Patrick J. Kennedy will be guest speaker, and former Philadelphia Eagle Kevin Riley will conduct a live auction at the third annual “Mocktails and Cocktails” fundraiser being held 6-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 at Linwood Country Club, 500 Shore Road.
The event benefits the Matthew Bee Memorial Fund, which raises money to assist men and women in recovery depending on their health insurance needs.
Judy Levine of Margate is chairing the event, which includes complimentary appetizers, light fare and mocktails, a cash bar, ticket raffle and live auction. Entertainment will be provided by Sidestory, featuring Kim and Tom Pacitti.
“One hundred percent of the funds go directly to help people get through detox, full treatment and into sober living,” said Lisa Bee of Seaview Harbor, mother of Matthew Bee, a “magnificent, intelligent and gifted athlete” who passed away from the disease of addiction at age 21 in September 2017.
“Too many people are losing their children, and we want to help bring awareness and resources about addiction and mental health to the community.”
With the help of family and friends, Lisa Bee formed the scholarship fund shortly after Matthew died to focus attention on the disease of addiction and provide needed resources to assist those in recovery.
In just two short years, the fund has raised more than $200,000 through the annual Mocktails and Cocktails event and a Ladies Night Paddle Board event held at Stacey’s Surf and Paddle in Margate during summer. Because Matthew Bee was an avid surfer, the fund also sponsors surfing lessons as therapy for those in recovery on the beach in Margate.
“For those in recovery, they love it,” Lisa Bee said. “We’re glad that it offers a great bonding experience for them.”
“Knowing about the great care they give,” the fund also partners with the Hansen Foundation to provide some of the much-needed services, including detox and aftercare, Bee said.
“Sober living is one of the most important pieces to help those in recovery get back on their feet,” she said.
The organization also provides funding to Angels in Motion, an organization that provides “blessing bags” and other resources to the homeless and addicted.
Kennedy, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who currently lives in Brigantine, and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, will deliver a keynote address during the event. He struggles with bipolar disorder, is in recovery from drug addiction and has become a leading advocate for mental health and recovery. He is the CEO of The Kennedy Forum, a behavioral health non-profit, and sits on many boards devoted to combating the drug crisis. His book, “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction,” details his journey through addiction and recovery.
Former Philadelphia Eagle and motivational speaker Kevin Riley, author of “Tackling Life,” will conduct the live auction. He was diagnosed with a rare tumor in his shoulder that required a radical amputation that ended his football career, but with “faith, family and friends and fortitude,” he has been able to overcome challenges and remain a player in the game of life.
Live auction items include a private dinner for 10 at No. 7311 cooked up by celebrity chefs Javier Perez of Tomatoes and Warner Christy of Steve & Cookies By The Bay, with dessert by Kim Richmond of No. 7311 bake shop; a private dinner at Gallagher’s Steak House at Resorts Atlantic City; a three-night, four-day stay at Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas; and an overnight stay and spa experience in New York City.
All of the prizes have been donated by local supporters, Bee said.
Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Sponsorships are available at the $500, $1,000, $1,500 and $2,500 levels.
For more information, see mjbmf.org or call 609-270-4443.