by Newport Mental Health

In one of the first in-person charity events since the easing of pandemic restrictions, The Aquidneck Club’s support of Newport Mental Health’s 7th Annual Golf Tournament, May 17, helped the nonprofit raise over $100,000 in donations.

Scores of local business leaders, including top sponsors, Horan Building Company and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals along with East Commerce Solutions, Vickers Liquors, Horizon Pharmacy, BankNewport and many others shared lighthearted barbs along the 18-hole course and later dined with the sounds of bagpipes accompanying the setting sun over Narragansett Bay.

 “It was more than a charity golf event. The Aquidneck Club helped us bring together so many new faces in support of mental health,” said President and CEO Jamie Lehane. “Perhaps this is the upside to the pandemic. By the outpouring of support that we received, people are beginning to acknowledge that there’s no shame in mental health and that the interconnection between physical and mental health cannot be separated.”

Shooting a 64, Pure Insurance fielded the winning team led by Ross Buchmueller. Alyssa Karam and Dave Lawrence won Closest to the Hole competitions, and Rebecca Sumner and Sam Hardy won the Longest Drive competition. 

Hosts Bobby D. Ehlert and Erin Ward offered their fundraising expertise and commitment to community health during the dinner hour to help Newport Mental Health reach and exceed its $100,000 benchmark providing capital for a myriad of services, including its Emergency Services and Zero Suicide programs. The Zero Suicide program provides intensive and uniform screening and follow-up treatment for Newport County residents from a number of local partner agencies, including the Women’s Resource Center, Newport Hospital, CODAC and others. The Zero Suicide Initiative is funded by an $800,000 Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) grant.  

Newport Mental Health, a federally Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic offers evidence-based mental health services to the 82,000 residents of Newport County, regardless of ability to pay. On an annual basis, NMH serves over 1,450 high risk adults and children at its five locations. In 2020 Newport Mental Health provided over $750,000 in free or reduced cost care to Newport County residents.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).

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