Six-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close, who recently revisited her Tony-winning role of Norma Desmond for London audiences, made the largest individual donation in the history of the Mental Health Association of Central Florida (MHACF) June 16 before serving as the keynote speaker during the organization’s fifth annual Legacy of Champions Luncheon.
Close, who has worked to eliminate the stigma of mental health, gifted $75,000 to MHACF, a non-profit organization that strives to connect Central Florida community members with mental health services, support and information. The contribution will allow MHACF to begin the ongoing counseling for anyone affected by the tragic events in Orlando, where 49 individuals were murdered at the gay Pulse nightclub, the worst mass shooting in the country's history.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our guest speaker, Glenn Close,” said Candice Crawford, CEO of MHACF, in a statement. “The community turned out to hear an actress and advocate for mental health at a very sensitive time for our city and she absolutely delivered.”
During the event, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was recognized as the 2016 Champion Honoree for launching the City's Stand Up Orlando initiative, an effort to “raise awareness and educate students and adults year-round that bullying is not tolerated in Orlando and to ensure the City continues to be a place of belonging, acceptance and respect for all people,” according to press notes.
Close, a Tony winner for her performances in The Real Thing, Death and the Maiden and Sunset Boulevard, established her Bring Change 2 Mind non-profit in order to elicit change and shared her own life experiences, including her family’s battle with mental illness.