Wolves' Bollero Helping Kids With Mental Illnesses Through Bash4Guild Event
Timberwolves Manager of Basketball Analytics/Video Scout Matt Bollero believes that young professionals in our society can make a difference—they don’t need to put off giving back until later in life. If there is something you feel passionate about and want to give back, why wait?
Bollero’s personal interest involves helping Twin Cities kids who are battling mental illness. It’s something he’s witnessed through friends and acquaintances growing up, and he said he understands the stigma that sometimes surrounds those who battle it on a daily basis. So when Bollero learned that Guild Incorporated—a local non-profit which focuses on the integrated treatment and service for people with mental illness—unveiled a new division focused on helping kids with mental illnesses, it was the perfect opportunity to get involved.
“My good buddy, Nik Larsen, is on the Guild Board of Directors, and when he told me of the new division specifically helping our youth, I was drawn to the organization,” Bollero said.
Now, Bollero and Larsen are working together through Guild’s youth service, Equilibrium (EQ), to help raise money for the cause.
The two are spearheading the inaugural Bash4Guild gala, which will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Minneapolis Club (729 2nd Ave. S). Proceeds for the event are put toward helping youth with mental illness and help them lead quality lives. Tickets for the event are available for purchase on the event’s official website—the $125 ticket includes food, music, an open bar and a gift package that includes two lower bowl Wolves tickets for the 2014-15 season.
“Mental illness is prevalent, and many people within the community know a least one person who has been affected,” Bollero said. “It’s time to rid the stigma, raise awareness and continue to help those struggling with the disease. The sooner we can help those struggling, particularly those at a young age, the sooner we can help them live a happier, more productive lifestyle.”
The event is geared toward young professionals in the Twin Cities area, and will include a silent auction that features items donated by people and organizations across the community. The Timberwolves donated items and tickets, the Wild donated items that included a team-signed hockey stick, and restaurants such as Crave, Cowboy Jacks, The Loon and others have been involved s well.
Individuals have donated anywhere between $50 to $5,000 to the cause, and Bollero said they are thankful to each and every person who has helped jumpstart the event.
There will also be a Night By Night (NXN) sponsorship for a three-person DJ competition. There will be a social hour from 8-9 p.m. followed by a brief speaker series and introduction before the DJ competition and other festivities take place.
“The outreach of support has been endless,” Bollero said.
Larsen joined Guild four years ago initially as a volunteer on the side, but he joined the organization’s board of directors a few months later and has been serving in that capacity since. He said the reason Bash4Guild came to be was a way to help get the word out about the newly-launched EQ division while also getting the message out to young and middle generations. He said a party was a good way to get those age groups involved while raising awareness and raising money for the cause.
At the end of the day, building a foundation and helping young kids with mental illnesses are the two main objectives of Bash4Guild.
“One of the biggest problems facing society is mental health issues,” Larsen said. “And in order to effectuate lasting change, children need to be the bedrock. If we can change a child’s life, we are preempting so many future problems they might have otherwise encountered, from homelessness to chemical dependency.
Guild Incorporated was founded in the 1970s. According to the organization’s official website, when Hastings State Hospital closed the Guild of Catholic Women (GCW) provided housing for individuals leaving the hospital. In 1990, the GCW established Guild Incorporated as a not-for-profit organization to continue the services they started.
Their goal is to benefit the local community by providing quality, cost-effective services aimed toward homelessness and countering things like unemployment, the use of high-cost emergency room and hospitalization services and involvement with the criminal justice system.
Bash4Guild’s goal is to help raise awareness and money that goes toward kids in our community that are affected by mental illness. According to the event’s official website, one in four adults—approximately 60 million Americans—experience a mental health disorder in a given year. An estimated 109,000 children in Minnesota alone are in need of treatment for serious emotional disturbances, and thousands are not receiving treatment whatsoever. One in 10 children live with a serious mental or emotional disorder, the website says.
Larsen said they’re looking for any support they can to help Bash4Guild’s mission.
“We want and need your support, no matter the size,” Larsen said. “Please get involved. And if you have a loved one that struggles with mental illness, please handle the problem head on by getting an organization involved such as Guild.”
Bollero’s goal is to not only raise money to make an impact, but to help young professionals in our region get involved. With Bash4Guild, the proceeds help kids get through what can be hard times. But whatever you support, Bollero said it’s important to understand you can make a difference.
“We do not need to wait until later in life to begin giving back,” Bollero said. “As young professionals in society, we should be more inclined to help fellow youth in our cities. We all are the future generation and should work together to help those struggling.”