By Nikolina Djuric
Public relations students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Richmond campus are shedding light on the darkness of mental illness.
Illuminate the Night, a charity gala hosted by KPU’s graduating public relations class raised $14,098 for the Kettle Society, a charity dedicated to supporting people with mental illness.
“The Kettle is like my second home,” said Jean, a member of the Kettle Society. “I feel welcomed. Because of where I’ve been, most people would want to kick me to the curb and here they accept me as a human being. They treat me with love, respect and kindness.”
Affectionately called “the Kettle” by those familiar with its work, the society provides housing, employment and programs, as well as raises awareness about mental illness. People accessing services are known as members. Currently, the Kettle provides services for over 5,000 people through 26 different programs. The society has a mental health drop-in, a transition house for women, and over 400 units of supportive housing.
“It’s really great that the Kettle has so many useful programs to help people,” said Jaime Ruck, one of the PR students who helped organize the gala. “We’ve worked hard to showcase that through our event.”
“What an amazing job on Illuminate the Night,” said Nancy Keough, executive director of the Kettle Society. “We were impressed by the professionalism, the hard work and the enthusiasm of the students in raising funds for the vulnerable individuals the Kettle serves.”
Since September, PR students have spent months vigorously organizing and fundraising for Illuminate the Night, which was held on March 2 at the Pinnacle Hotel. The event had an enchanted forest theme with string lights, trees and low-lit candles to ignite hope for the mental health community.
“It meant a lot to be able to see something from start to finish that was able to help people and give back to the community,” said Erin Clubine, a fourth year PR student. “Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are and being a part of Illuminate the Night was an eye-opening experience.”
The cheque presentation took place today at KPU Richmond. A photo is available for download on Flickr.
For more about KPU’s public relations program, visit kpu.ca/business/pr.