The Jared Monroe Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering awareness, understanding and support for bipolar disorder, is hosting its inaugural Gala on Thursday, May 30, to celebrate Jared Monroe and benefit the organization.
Jared Monroe, a West Ranch High School graduate, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder right before he began college at Arizona State University three years ago. Not even a year later, he committed suicide. That’s when his mother, Robin Monroe, decided to create the foundation in his honor.
This event, which is focused on spreading awareness for mental health, will be held in honor of Jared’s 22nd birthday, according to Robin Monroe, founder and president of the foundation.
“It’s about getting information about mental illness, bipolar disorder and suicide out there,” Robin Monroe said. “And it’s a great way to celebrate Jared as he wanted to be a social worker, so this is our way of keeping him going.”
The gala is expected to feature guest speakers, including Dawnel DeRubeis, director of the inaugural Out of Darkness Santa Clarita Campus Walk happening on Saturday, May 18, at College of the Canyons, and SRD~Straightening Reins, as well as a silent auction and a three-course meal with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals available upon request.
“One of the big things we do is give out academic scholarships to those with bipolar disorder and/or mental illness,” Robin Monroe said. “We gave out our first scholarship the year Jared passed away, so this will be our third year giving out scholarships.”
The foundation will be presenting this year’s scholarship recipient at the gala, and Daniel Rodriguez, a COC graduate and past recipient of the foundation’s scholarship, will also be in attendance to share his story, according to Robin Monroe.
Proceeds from the event will go toward helping the foundation provide academic scholarships to those with bipolar disorder, Robin Monroe said.
The Gala is scheduled 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, at The Oaks Club located at 26550 Heritage View Lane in Valencia. For more information, email [email protected], or to donate, visit jaredmonroefoundation.org/.