Thank-you and “Friends With Benefits” Honoured

22 Nov

I can hardly believe it has been 6 months since Friends With Benefitsfor the Royal’s Jennie James Depression Research Fund.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was trying to figure out a way to make this all possible.     


I’m so proud to say we did it.  We put together something that exceeded all of our expectations. Friends With Benefits was a huge success: the 150 advanced tickets were sold out a week before the event, there was friendly competition for the array of silent auction items, delicious nibbles by Crackers Catering and music by DJs Memetic and Zattar kept the crowd dancing to the week hours.  The combined proceeds from ticket sales, the silent auction and the raffles held throughout the evening raised $12,387.00.   These funds will go directly to the Jennie James Depression Research Fund to promote awareness, understanding, research and treatment of depression and to end the silence surrounding suicide. 


Six months later friends, co-workers and members of the community still comment to me about what a fun and special evening it was.   In fact, last night Friends With Benefits was recognized at the Royal’s Inaugural Community Led Event Organizers celebration.  Daniel Alfredson, face of the Royal’s “You Know Who I am Campaign” and Stephanie Richardson, mother of Daron Richardson spoke.  While I was not able to attend personally, I’m told that it seems that Friends With Benefits was one of the top earning events!  While I’m chuffed to be able to say that the idea for the event came to me one February evening, it came together because of the love, support and vision of so many people that helped to make it possible.  Thank you to Francine Charbonneau, Amy Murdock, Katie Hurdon, Court Curry, Peter Hammond, Kathryn Laflamme, Carmen Ali, Emma Prost, Carla Gianetti, Heather Desrosiers, Andrew Moonsamy, Amanda Ballard and my parents Linsey and Barrie Hammond for all you did to help the vision become reality.


We were able to surpass our initial fundraising goal of $7000 because of the generous donations of so many local businesses, especially our named sponsors: KOTT Lumber, Watson DiPrimio Steel and Paul Bourque Team Reality.  Thank you for helping us to start a conversation about mental illness and recognize the important work done by The Royal to provide treatment to those living with mental illness.


To all those who volunteered, donated and attended, thank you for spending your evening with us.  Your participation helped us to honors Jennie’s life in such a special way.  I hope that you will continue spread the word about the Jennie James Depression Research Fund and its mission.  


Laura Hammond


Will we do it again?  Definitely!  I hope that you will be there for the second annual Friends With Benefits event.  Until then, please enjoy some photos taken the evening of the event.  Thank you Remi Theriault, Francine Charbonneau and Lydia Camille for capturing the evening.

To see some of the photos from the event, please our Flickr page:






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