YSS of Hamilton County will raise $1 million to support youth mental health

YSS of Hamilton County wants to put $1million into the pursuit of better mental health for youth.

And it wants to celebrate that goal here in the fall.

“We are thrilled to announce the commencement of this vital fundraising initiative, which will be highlighted with our Hamilton Celebration for Hope on September 14 at Briggs Woods Golf Course,” Shirley Nelson, community engagement coordinator for YSS of Hamilton County, said.

The fundraising efforts will be led by the YSS of Hamilton County advisory board, with Keith Halleland, of Webster City, acting as chairman of the Hamilton County campaign.

YSS has already raised $150,000, with a matching gift pledge of $500,000 also secured toward the $1 million goal.

With the recent tragedy at Perry High School, Halleland emphasized the critical nature of mental health services for youth.

“Mental health for youth is a key component of our healthcare system,” Halleland said. “It is our responsibility as citizens to create a better and more sustainable system of available mental health services.

“We aim to build awareness of, and strengthen sustainability for, such services in Hamilton County, ensuring the well-being and success of our children well into the future.”

Further details about the campaign will be revealed throughout the year, including opportunities for the public to participate in the event through sponsorships, gift pledges and attendance.

YSS is one of Iowa’s oldest and largest youth-serving nonprofit organizations.

The Hamilton Endowment Fund will support ongoing operations at YSS’s Webster City location and will be for the exclusive purpose of servicing the behavioral health needs of area youth.

YSS’s Hamilton County community-based center operates out of The Dean and Adele Bowden Youth and Family Clinic at 1611 Prospect Street, Webster City.

YSS of Hamilton County provides outpatient therapy and substance-abuse counseling, medication management, and telehealth services to families in and around Hamilton County. YSS also provides advocate support to 19 counties in Northwest Iowa for Aftercare services.

“YSS is excited to support this important fundraising effort in Hamilton County,” YSS Chief Development Officer Kara Warme said. 

Along with the Hamilton Celebration for Hope, she said YSS will open its Ember Recovery Campus in Cambridge in September. Located in a nature-based setting, the campus will provide crisis stabilization, emergency shelter, and residential addiction treatment for youth and young adults.

“We will have a big year in 2024 in support of mental health for the youth of Iowa,” Warme said.


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