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P.E.A.R.‘s WHITE Party to support mental health treatment

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

While the initial uproar following the Newtown, Conn., shooting of 20 children and six adults inside Sandy Hook Elementary School revolved around gun ownership regulations, a second major concern stemmed from the tragic event.

In addition to discussing if and how weaponry should be regulated, shouldn’t the mental state of these twisted assassins also be addressed?

While it took a year to come to fruition, Vice President Joe Biden announced yesterday that a total of $100 million would be allocated to diagnose, treat and draw attention to mental illness and addiction. You can read more about the national events in this article by Education Week.

Appropriately, Buffalo is not blind to the concerns reverberating around the country, and P E A R., an acronym that stands for Planning Events And Receptions, will hold a fashionable fundraiser called the WHITE Party, Black Tie Affair to benefit the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy initiative of Child and Adolescent Treatment Services.

CATS—the mental health service, not the ornery creatures—focuses on youth from toddlers to teenagers to help them identify feelings of depression, anxiety and self-harm through a cognitive behavioral process called mindfulness. Here are the six foci of the organization:

**Promote mental & emotional health
**Teach children skills to manage emotions
**Improve family communication
**Encourage health self esteem
**Teach valuable life skills
**Educate, support health alternatives to violence

The P.E.A.R. event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts atrium and art gallery on Thursday. Tickets can be purchased here for $100, while VIP passes—which include front row seating and a complimentary clutch bag from designer Katie Gariepy—run for $123 at the same link. White or black attire is required.

Included in the cost of admission is one free drink ticket, passed hors d’oeuvres and a seat for the fashion show unveiling the new white collections of four designers.

**Once Vintage, the design company of Molly Hoeltke, a former guest style blogger for Buffalo.com
**Katie Gariepy, whose various pieces can be found on Etsy here
**Thomas Lee Designs, owned by Shana Feeley, has a website and portfolio here
**The fourth designer is a surprise, and no one will tell us, either

Darnell Barton, the McKinley High School bus driver who saved a woman from jumping onto the Scajaquada Expressway this past fall, will be honored as an Emotional Health Hero and Good Deed recipient.

A vast array of silent auction items—including artwork, jewelry, a Buffalo-to-NYC package, Dessert Deli treats and much more—is another highlight of P.E.A.R.‘s WHITE Party, which is presented by co-owners Shannon Lach and Sarah McKinnon, who operate from 123 Bidwell Pkwy in the Elmwood Village.

(Header image is courtesy of P.E.A.R.‘s Facebook page, and it’s Barton, Gariepy, Lach and Hoeltke from left to right).

TAGGED: amherst, fashion, katie gariepy, molly hoeltke, once vintage, p.e.a.r., pear planning, shannon lach, thomas lee designs, ub center for the arts, white party

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