Benefits of Laughter Raises More Than $1.2 Million to Support Mental Health Treatment

ATLANTA – On Thursday, October 21, 2021, Skyland Trail hosted Benefits of Laughter, which raised more than $1.2 million for mental health treatment services at Skyland Trail. The $1.2 million, a record amount for the annual event that is expected to continue to rise through additional donations, will support the Mark C. West Financial Aid Program that aids adults and teens struggling with psychiatric disorders. Financial aid allows clients in treatment at Skyland Trail to engage in and complete psychiatric treatment programs, including residential and day treatment. 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.

“Donations to the Skyland Trail financial aid program help remove financial barriers to treatment for more than 40 percent of the people we serve,” says Beth Finnerty, Skyland Trail President and CEO. “Financial aid helps teens and adults access a safe place, supportive peer community, and multi-disciplinary treatment team. Financial aid gives our clients the time they need to adopt skills to survive and thrive whether their next step is their first year of high school or college, beginning or advancing their careers, or caring for a family member during the pandemic.”

Benefits of Laughter was presented as a hybrid event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many supporters gathered at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead while others tuned in to a livestream of the event from home. Attendees heard a powerful testimonial from a recent Skyland Trail graduate about the impact of treatment on their mental health and enjoyed a comedic performance from the hilarious Fortune Feimster.

Support from the Atlanta community was led by diamond sponsors Cox Enterprises and Delta Airlines. Platinum sponsors included: Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty; Georgia Power; Genuine Parts Company; Invesco; Liz and Frank Blake; the J.B. Fuqua Foundation; Beth and Don Inman; Edwina and Tom Johnson; Betsy and Mark West; and Marjorie and Robert Wynne. Gold sponsors included Accenture; Angel Oak Capital; Arrow Exterminators; AT&T; Crawford Investment Counsel; the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine; First Horizon Foundation; GBC; GPS Hospitality; Hennessy Automobile Companies; Jackson Healthcare; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; MONTAG Wealth Management; Printpack; Resurgens Technology Partners; Betsy and Scott Akers, Jr.; Julie and Jim Balloun; Jennifer and Tom Bell; Lora and Barry Boniface; Kit and David Bowlin; the ELK Foundation; Duvall and Rex Fuqua; Lorre and George Gaudiosi; Anne and Berny Gray; Kristin and Jim Howard; Tish and John Inman; Jane and Clay Jackson; Frances and Jim Kerr; Carla Knobloch; Amy and Nevin Kreisler; Carrie and Whit Lanier; Kelly Loeffler and Jeff Sprecher; Karen and Richard Parker; Christine and Bill Ragland; Patty and Doug Reid; Romanoff Renovations; the Sartain Lanier Family Foundation; Beth and Jerry Shaifer; and Mary Louise and Blanton Winship. Silver sponsors included: BlackRock; Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina; Ginny and Charles Brewer; Nancy and Doug Bryant and Sherlock’s Wine Merchant; CBRE; Colliers International; Christie and Doug Derrick; Sylvia and Bruce Dick; Nan and Ed Easterlin; Fulcrum Equity Partners; Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Rand and Seth Hagen; Susan and Jim Hannan; the Douglas J. Hertz Family Foundation; Beth and Tommy Holder; Houlihan Lokey; Jackson Spalding; Mary and Neil Johnson; Jennifer and David Kahn; Robert C. Loudermilk, Jr. and Family; Donna and Stan Sands; the Snodgrass Foundation; Maria and Tim Tassopoulous; Mary Bridget and Greg Thurman; WGM Real Estate; Beth and Julian Williamson; and Angela and Billy Woods.


Photography by Kim Link.