The highlight of the Aurora Mental Health Center’s 13th Annual Spring Benefit Luncheon, Living Life to the Fullest was keynote speaker Big Daddy Tazz who spreads an anti-bullying message and support of programs for the mentally ill—something he’s intimately familiar wth due to his own challenges.
After 30 years of denying that he had the mental illness that were controlling his life, Tazz realized that being manic-depressive, attention deficit, and having mild dyslexia could either destroy or enhance his life. His choice was to make his condition a positive learning experience that guides his life with a mission to help and influence others to overcome their perceived deficits or weaknesses.
More than 400 attended this year’s event at the Hyatt-Regency Aurora-Denver on Monday, May 8. Board Member and Event Chair Rachel Nuñez welcomed guests and sponsors with an emphasis that May is Mental Health Month. Aurora Mayor Hogan served as emcee and introduced Executive Director Randy Stith, PhD and later keynote Big Daddy Tazz. Stith thanked sponsors and shared his stories of the AuMHC’s history and his own career advocating for mental health community programs.
Special thanks went to this year’s sponsors: Title/Matching Sponsor: CitywideBanks
Gold: EON Office
Silver:Asian Pacific Development Center,Aurora Rotary Foundation,Metro Community Provider Network
Bronze: All Health Network, Aurora Federal Credit Union, Aurora Housing Authority,Aurora Public Schools,Behavioral Health Care, Inc., Cherry Creek Schools,Childrenís Hospital Colorado, Falck Rocky Mountain, Gloo, Medical Center of Aurora, IMA of Colorado, Nelnet, Inc, Sara and Howard Jarrett, Tolin Mechanical, WAVE Audiovisual
Tazz kept guests entertained and roaring with laughter with his very personal anecdotes and shenanigans growing up, including his own undiagnosed mental health challenges. His comedy runs 24 hours a day, he says, because he likes to make people laugh. This, of course, can bring other challenges in everyday life for his children and family. He describes himself as a stand-up comedian first, and then an advocate for mental health and children. For the past 16 years, he has been raising money for various charities, and these days he has an initiative called, “Running AMOK – OR – Actively Motivating Our Kids. Tazz message is simple and heartfelt: he believes that it’s time to educate, embrace and empower everyone so that we can all stand tall and give stigma a bad name.
To volunteer, donate or get more information on the Aurora Mental Health Center please visit www.aumhc.org or call 303-617-2300.