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A Letter from the Walk Chair

April 19, 2017

Van Eure (center) with participants at the 2016 Walk for Hope

Dear friends,

My brother, Thad Jr., was 16 years old when he was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder. When our parents, Thad and Alice Eure, sought treatment for their son, they heard the same verdict everywhere: “There’s not much we can do.” In the 1970s—not so long ago—there was little research being conducted in the field of mental illness. Shame and social stigma, too, kept families isolated and suffering in silence.

It would have been easy for my parents to give in to despair. Instead, they did they opposite: in darkness, they kindled a spark of hope.

My parents could teach a master class on how to turn desperation to determination. And in 1984, their Foundation of Hope was born.

My sister Shelley is the Executive Director of the Foundation, which, in 30 years, has raised over $5 million for hundreds of worthy research projects and community initiatives. I chair the Walk for Hope, an annual event first begun by my father’s devoted employees in the wake of his untimely death. This annual walk is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser, and brings together thousands of people for a common cause and a day of fun.

Shelley and I are committed to carrying the torch started by our parents—your participation and support is critical to the success of our work. We firmly believe in this cause, the work of the Foundation, and its impact on lives.

Mental illness will touch 1 in 5 families. You can help make a difference to them by joining us at the 29th Annual Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope, held at the Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC on Sunday, October 8, 2017.

Oh. And my brother? 30 years ago, his condition was so crippling, he could hardly write his name. Today, he writes this: “It is the philosophy of the Eure family that if we can help just one individual who suffers from chronic mental illness lead a better, more productive and meaningful life, then we have done something very special.”

He’s absolutely right. But we can’t do it without you. We hope you’ll join us as we make more strides for hope this year, and for many years to come.

Warmest regards,

Van Eure
Chair, Walk for Hope
Owner, The Angus Barn