Golf Benefit For Mental Health Programs
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The Mental Health Association of Rochester held its 19th annual 'Skyway Open' mini-golf fundraiser at the Eastview Mall in Victor Saturday.
All the proceeds will benefit mental health programs and services throughout Monroe County.
The fact is nearly one in two Americans will experience a diagnosable mental disorder at some point in their lives. Now, this mini-golf course was less about racing to the 18th hole but more about what each stop had to offer.
The idea is simple. A club, ball, and just the right tap... but watch out for the robots.
This 18 hole mini golf course has a catch: it's rigged by robotics.
"It doesn't really matter how well you play golf, it's just kind of random and fun," said Taylor Nobles, Churchville-Chili High School.
This year's golf tournament to benefit the Mental Health Association featured robotics built by students participating in 'First,' a competitive engineering mentor program.
Shoppers making their way through Eastview Mall kept their eye out for the flags. Each hole featured an information booth displaying different mental health services in Monroe County.
"Focusing on again the mental portion of people's lives as opposed to just the physical health that people have," said Peter Bruu of the Mental Health Association.
Mental health officials admit there's still a stigma attached to 'mental disorders,' so what better atmosphere to change that perception.
Non-profits like Depaul Housing now depend on donations, after cuts in state funding. Saturday's event gave them a unique platform to reach out to the community.
"When money is cut that means some that need the services, cannot get the services right away," said Juanita Prince of Depaul Housing.
Students from Churchville-Chili and Pittsford Mendon high schools got to show off their robots, and helped draw crowds, by putting an innovative spin on a traditional game.
"First" members say robotics is about self confidence, inspiration and communication with others. A standpoint shared by those in the mental health field.
"People with mental illness, they want to feel part-of, programs like this help them be the best person they can be," said Prince.
The Mental Health Association raised around $40,000 dollars at Saturday's event.
The work of Robotics teams is part of the national Science Technology Engineering and Math initiative supported by Connect a Million Minds; a collaboration of YNN and our parent company Time Warner Cable.
You can learn more about the initiative here.