2023 Benefits of Laughter Raises Record Amount for Skyland Trail

On Thursday, October 19, 2023, Skyland Trail hosted its annual Benefits of Laughter, the signature fundraising event for the nonprofit psychiatric treatment organization in Atlanta. The event has raised over $1.3 million to date to support the Mark C. West Financial Aid Program at Skyland Trail, surpassing the previous record of $1.28 million raised through the event in 2022. Additional donations to Skyland Trail through Benefits of Laughter will be accepted through December 31, 2023.

Since the inaugural Benefits of Laughter in 1998, attendees from the Atlanta philanthropic community have helped raise more than $18 million in total for the evidence-based mental health treatment services at Skyland Trail.

Financial aid allows teen and adult clients in treatment at Skyland Trail to engage in and complete psychiatric residential treatment and day treatment programs. Clients benefit from evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) as well as holistic wellness programs like art, music, and horticultural therapy; fitness and nutrition counseling; life skills training; and vocational and academic services.

Over 600 guests at The St. Regis Atlanta in Buckhead learned about the holistic approach to treatment at Skyland Trail through a video highlighting the personal story of Brian R., a recent graduate of the Skyland Trail adult mental health treatment program. Comedian Pat McGann provided entertainment and laughs.

The success of Benefits of Laugher is due to the efforts of volunteer leaders. The event was co-chaired by Nan Easterlin and Anne Marino. Mike Marino served as chair of the corporate committee. The patron committee chairs were Lillian and Larry Connolly.

Support from the Atlanta community was led by diamond sponsors: Atlantic American; Gray Television; Cox Enterprises; Delta Airlines; and the Connolly Family Foundation.

Platinum sponsors included: First Horizon Bank; Genuine Parts Company; Invesco; the Lupin Foundation; Southern Company Gas Foundation; Liz and Frank Blake; Abby and Matt Echols; The J.B. Fuqua Foundation; Edwina and Tom Johnson; Alice and Eddie Miller; Betsy and Mark West; and Margie and Robert Wynne.

Gold sponsors included: Accenture; Acuity Brands; Angel Oak Companies; Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty; BlackRock; Brown & Brown; Nancy and Doug Bryant/Sherlock’s Wine Merchant; Crawford Investment Counsel; Emory University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Georgia Banking Company; Georgia Power Foundation; The Home Depot; Homrich Berg Wealth Management; JPMorgan Chase & Co; Masters Capital Management, LLC; MONTAG Wealth Management; Printpack; Resurgens Technology Partners; WDG Real Estate Partners; WestRock; Jennifer and Tom Bell; Michele and Pat Boushka; Ginny and Charles Brewer; Christmas Creek Charitable Fund; Donna and Chip Davidson; Nan and Ed Easterlin; Lauren and Mike Flint; Duvall and Rex Fuqua; Lorre and George Gaudiosi; Rand and Seth Hagen; Beth and Tommy Holder; Julene and Brad Hodges; Kristin and Jim Howard; Beth and Don Inman; Karen and Brian Keen; Carla Knobloch; Amy and Nevin Kreisler; Kelly Loeffler and Jeff Sprecher; Lorin and Matthew Middlethon; Karen and Richard Parker; Patty and Doug Reid; Rogers Family Foundation; Andrea and Tim Rollins; The Shaifer Family.

Silver sponsors included: AlixPartners; Arrow Exterminators; CBRE; Gypsum Management Supply, Inc.; Shiver Hamilton Campbell Trial Attorneys; Betsy and Scott Akers; Wendy and Neal Aronson; Kit and David Bowlin; Kay and Jim Douglass; ELK Foundation; Fulcrum Equity Partners; Greenberg Traurig; Rand and Seth Hagen; Susan and Jim Hannan; Roya and Bahman Irvani; Jane and Clay Jackson; Houlihan Lokey; Anne and Mike Marino; Mativ; Rhonda and Bert Ponder; Shayla and Chip Rumely; Sally and Ross Singletary; and Maria and Tim Tassopoulos.

The Atlantan served as a media sponsor.