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Rogue Winterfest Gives Back To Mental Health Programs In Josephine County

Rogue Winterfest Gives Back To Mental Health Programs In Josephine County

Posted: Nov. 30, 2017 11:00 PM
Updated: Nov. 30, 2017 11:13 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore.-- The Rogue Winterfest is back in Grants Pass.

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The festival supports nonprofits that offer mental health programs in Josephine County.

Last year the festival raised over 135,000 dollars and organizers say it's an event that grows every year.

The Rogue Winterfest is mesmerizing to walk through, filled with lights, holiday sounds, and some of the most unique trees.

Behind the holiday cheer, the festival is actually helping to spread awareness about mental health.

According to a community assessment in 2013, Josephine County said its number one issue was mental health.

Options for Southern Oregon Executive Director Karla McCarferty says, "It's really important we support mental health needs here in Josephine County, I don't think there's anyone that doesn't know someone who struggles with mental health issues, and this event is really about recognizing that and providing support for those people."

Rogue Winterfest helps support Family Solutions, Kairos, and Options For Southern Oregon.

Donations keep the programs alive, so thousands of people can get the help they need
including children's mental health programs, crisis services, life skills development, drug, alcohol, & gambling treatment and so many more.

Tom Johnson says, "We're a small non-profit organization and all non-profits have a difficult time making ends meet."

The executive director for Kairos says a few weeks ago while shopping in a store, he learned just what an impact their program has on the community.

Kairos Executive Director Craig Norton says, "I was explaining to the manager what I did for work, this individual across the store said, ‘Hey, I know you guys really well, I was in your programs, and if I wasn't I wouldn't be standing here today. Your staff and the programs saved my life and not only saved it but let me be productive, have a vibrant life, and contribute to the communities I live in.’ So that's the power of giving at events like this."

The three nonprofits benefiting from Winterfest serve more than 5,000 people every year combined.

For a list of events, click here.

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