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Kevin Berthia, Courtney Hubbard, Natalie Hatchett,

Grant Halliburton Foundation held its 15th annual Beacon of Hope Community Luncheon at the Omni Dallas Hotel on April 19where nearly 700 people attended to raise funds for the nonprofit. The event raised more than $350,000—a record for the nonprofit organization.

During the reception, guests enjoyed the champagne wall and mental wellness activities. While DJ Lucy Wrubel played entertaining tunes, guests wrote and drew on the Hope wall, bid on a raffle packages, and made connections at the Beacon Brews Coffee House.

The luncheon kicked off with the L.D. Bell High School (Hurst) Bell Tones and Decibelles singing “You Will be Found” from the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen.

Jenny Anchondo, host and producer of CW33’s “Inside DFW,” welcomed everyone. Rev. Katie Newsome, executive director and lead pastor of Union Coffee, gave the invocation. Guests ate lunch and visited at their tables.

Anchondo introduced The Beacon Award honoree through a video. This year’s honoree was Eric Nadel, Voice of the Texas Rangers, who was open about his struggles with depression and mental health issues during last year’s baseball season. Nadel spoke openly about his struggles and came back the last couple of months of the season—just in time to commentate the Rangers winning the World Series.

Next, attendees watched a video about Grant Halliburton Foundation and its work. Foundation President Kevin Hall spoke next. “We envision a world where suicide is no longer a leading cause of death for young people and where everyone affected by mental illness has the support and resources they need.” He discussed all the services that the Foundation provides in English and Spanish.

The 2024 luncheon co-chairs, Natalie Hatchett and Courtney Hubbard, thanked sponsors including presenting sponsor Emily Lewis, Vice Chairs Chris and Brent Bolding, Founding Luncheon Chair Barb Farmer and the others for their support.

A video told of Hatchett and Hubbard’s close friendship spanning three decades with all of life’s milestones. Hatchett shared openly about her son Preston having mental health issues and depression. He died by suicide at age 20 in 2021. After the video and many tears from them and the audience, the co-chairs asked for people to support Grant Halliburton Foundation by giving hope. Many people were moved to give generously.

Katie Norris, producer and founder of nonprofit Fotolanthropy, introduced the featured speakers Kevin Berthia, suicide prevention advocate and suicide attempt survivor, and Kevin Briggs, California Highway Patrolman and author of Guardian of the Golden Gate: Protecting the Line Between Hope and Despair. Fotolanthropy is creating 92 Minutes, a feature documentary, on their powerful story. She showed a short clip of the film, and then the Kevins spoke about the day they met in 2005 on the Golden Gate Bridge when Berthia was about to take his life.

Though both came from different neighborhoods, they both had trying circumstances, suicides, mental illness and depression as a common bond. When Berthia was on the Golden Gate Bridge to end his life, he said, “This voice distracted me. His voice was of hope, peace, compassion. It’s the first time I talked about me, the real me.” That day marked Berthia’s 11th suicide attempt. With Briggs asking him questions about his life, after 92 minutes, Berthia chose to come back over the rail. This moment was captured by a photographer resulting in an image shared globally. Fast forward to 2013, Berthia attempted suicide 22 times.

In 2013, Briggs won an award for his service as a California Highway Patrol, and he asked Berthia’s mom if Kevin would present this award. Berthia reluctantly agreed to do it and to tell his story, which he had not done. Berthia said, “A woman came up to me afterwards and said she hadn’t slept in five years and told me my story gave her hope. She said, ‘I now know how Jacob (her son) felt, and I can sleep tonight.” This moment was a pivotal one for Berthia.

Since 2013, Briggs and Berthia have shared their story connection, hope and listening to encourage people to live life to the fullest.  

The Beacon of Hope Luncheon supports Grant Halliburton Foundation’s work to provide education, resources and support for children, teen and young adult mental health.In the last 18 years, the Foundation has provided mental health education, training and support to nearly 325,000 students, educators, parents and professionals, thanks to funds raised from the Beacon of Hope Luncheon. To learn more, visit GrantHalliburton.org/boh.

Grant Halliburton Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of a Dallas teen who battled depression and bipolar disorder for several years before his suicide death at the age of 19. The Foundation that bears his name works to help families and young people recognize the signs of mental illness through a variety of avenues including education, conferences, collaboration and encouragement. Since 2006, the Foundation has provided mental health education, training and support to more than 325,000 students, educators, parents and professionals. The Foundation also offers Here For Texas, which includes HereForTexas.com and the Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line. These free community tools aim to offer easy access for North Texans seeking mental health and addiction information and resources. Learn more about the Foundation at GrantHalliburton.org.

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