The Aurora Mental Health Center’s 11th Annual Spring Benefit Luncheon, Living Life to the Fullest, was held at Friday, May 1 at the Radisson Hotel in Aurora. For some 40 years AUMHC’s team of psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, therapists, social workers, and peer advisors have worked to provide individual, group, and family counseling, as well as consultation and educational support.

More than 350 packed the ballroom to celebrate the organization and to raise funds for Aurora Youth Options (AYO), AUMH’s youth service and mentoring program that was singled out by Esquire Magazine as one of the Denver metro region’s 7 most successful mentoring programs and among the top 50 in the nation.

Board Member and Event Chair Rachel Nuñez took to the podium to describe how AYO works with middle and high school-aged at-risk youth and their families to navigate, connect and provide positive, individualized resources to help them succeed. The key to the program, she said, was recovery, prevention and wellness.

Emcee Charles Packard, Executive Producer for Aurora Fox Theatre, thanked donors, guests and acknowledged local city and county leadership before introducing Dr. Randy Stith, CEO & Executive Director. Stith reviewed the founding of the organization by a group of committed volunteers in the late 1960s who officially launched AUMHC in 1975.

Among those attending this year’s luncheon were: From the office of Congressman Mike Coffman Aurora Ogg, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Aurora City Council Members: Barbara Cleland, Brad Pierce, Molly Markert, Marsha Berzins, Debi Hunter Holen, Sally Mounier, Aurora Municipal Court Chief Judge Richard Weinburg, Aurora Municipal Court Adminstrator Zelda DeBoyes, Aurora City Manager Skip Noe, Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz, Aurora Fire Chief Michael Garcia, Arapahoe County Commissioners: Nancy Sharpe, Bill Holen, Nancy Jackson, Nancy Doty, and Arapahoe County Sheriff Dave Walcher

Founded in 2009, Aurora Youth Options Mentor Program brings caring adults together with a young person in need of mentoring and coaching, Homework Help and Tutoring creates a safe and open environment where youth interact with adult and peer tutors to get the assistance they need.

The AUMHC’s programs serve more than 17,000 people annually through 12 counseling centers, 8 residential facilities, in public schools, county human services departments and other locations. The Aurora Mental Health Center’s next fundraiser will be the Mayor’s Cup Golf Classic hosted by the Aurora Vistas Foundation on August 17. To donate or learn more visit: aumhc.org