By Susan Hornik
Recently, One Mind for Research, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to curing the diseases of the brain and eliminating the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and brain injuries, presented their Circle of Hope dinner and entertainment gala in Beverly Hills, California.
Co-hosts for the star-studded evening included One Mind CEO General (Ret.) Peter Chiarelli; Dr. David Feinberg; Dustin Hoffman; former US Congressman Patrick Kennedy; Lori and Michael Milken; Stewart Resnick; and Shari and Garen Staglin. Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks served as savvy host and entertaining Master of Ceremonies at the event, whose goal was to raise funding to cure brain diseases within 10 years.
“Actor Tom Skerritt, who is here tonight, sent me an e-mail awhile back, which said, ‘why don’t you get involved in this organization, it’s something that you might be interested in,’” Hanks explained. “It certainly was. Mainly, I wanted to meet Tom in person so I could compare my scraggly mustache with his. I have an embarrassing junior high style mustache. The kind of mustache the older kids, the ones with a lot of testosterone in junior high try to grow, to intimidate the gym teacher!” he quipped.
About the four most prominent conditions: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, severe depression, and post-traumatic stress, Hanks said: “We’re going to take the Big Four of brain disease on, and we’re going to get it done. It’s our national duty!”
One Mind was founded by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who led the passage of the mental health parity bill, and Staglin who, with his wife Shari, founded the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO). Since its inception IMHRO has raised over $140 million to fund research and reduce stigma.
By Susan Hornik