Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing you today to tell you about an upcoming event that I am participating in that is both very important and very exciting to me.  NAMIWalks, the signature walkathon event of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is being held in  Blue Bell, PA at Montgomery County Community College on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

For those close to our family, this is not news, but this is definitely new for many of our friends.  And this letter and blog post definitely puts it out there in the open for our family.  My wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Thanks to the support of many family and friends, the marvel of medicine, and the faith that holds us together, we have been able to navigate these waters and see hope and healing both now and for the future.  We know that many do not have the same support structure that we have in place, and NAMI is an organization that we believe can help those who are going through some form of mental illness and help their family members as well.

Your support means the world to us as we embark on this adventure.  All four of us will be walking and we have a goal of raising $400 total.  Any part you can make in helping us to achieve this goal would be greatly appreciated.  So THANKS!

I would like to ask you to come and walk with me or to donate to support my participation in this great event. If you would like to register to walk with me, visit my team’s page at Or if you just want to make a donation to sponsor me, visit Donating online is fast and secure, and I’ll get immediate notification via e-mail of your donation.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the largest education, support and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all whose lives are touched by these illnesses.  This includes persons with mental illness, their families, friends, employers, the law enforcement community and policy makers.  The NAMI organization is composed of approximately 1100 local affiliates, 50 state offices and a national office.

The goals of the NAMIWalks program are: to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness, to build awareness of the fact that the mental health system in this country needs to be improved, and to raise funds for NAMI so that they can continue their mission.

NAMI is a 501(c)3 charity and any donation you make to support my participation in this event is tax deductible.  NAMI has been rated by Worth magazine as among the top 100 charities “most likely to save the world” and has been given an “A” rating by The American Institute of Philanthropy for efficient and effective use of charitable dollars.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Jon Stolpe