24 Oct ‘Love Boat’ actress helping Mercer organization’s benefit gala – virtual this year
CONTACT of Mercer, a non profit organization that offers suicide prevention and other outreach services, holds an annual fundraising gala that usually involves a cocktail hour, silent auction and plenty of mingling.
This year, the benefit on Nov. 13 will be an virtual event due to the pandemic.
But anyone who logs on this year will see actress Jill Whelan as the mistress of ceremonies. Whelan starred on the television show “Love Boat” in the 1970s and 1980, portraying the captain’s daughter.
This year’s event will honor local heroes who have gone above and beyond to assist others amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization said.
“With so much uncertainty about personal safety and health as well as the economic impact of Covid-19, hope for the future can be fleeting and distressing. For some, the build-up of anxiety, depression, stress, loneliness, and isolation can result in suicidal crisis,” Executive Director Eleanor K. Letcher said.
“While we wish the gala could be in-person we understand the health implications related to the pandemic. Still, we are not ready to let COVID-19 stop us from working to meet our mission,” Letcher said.
CONTACT of Mercer, founded in 1975, provides an assortment of compassion services, like suicide prevention and confidential telephone listening for seniors who live alone. Volunteers handle the services through traditional telephone calls, and online chat services.
The organization also handle phone calls and chats from the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Anyone interested in nominating an “Unsung Hero” for the gala, who would would like to watch, can do so at https://contactofmercer.org/gala-app/.
Anyone in crisis can reach CONTACT volunteers at 609-896-2120 or 1-800-273-8255, or chat online at www.crisischat.org.