On Friday, February 8, 2019, the HDS Foundation was honored to attend the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention (FISP) 14th Annual Gala FISPY Awards. Miss Bryan, Producer of the DJ Laz Morning Show, was the evening’s MC.  In attendance were Presidents Harry Rosen and Jackie Rosen; all board members of FISP; the Mayor of Pembroke Pines, Frank C. Ortis; Commissioners from the city of Pembroke Pines; and various other guests from the community. Through education and resources, in addition to the FISPY Gala, FISP sheds a light on those who are affected by suicide and those who struggle with mental illness. 

At the event, the FISPY Mental Health Advocates Awards were given to Journalist Michael Mayo, HOPE Sunshine Club student Jason Tache’, and Memorial Hospital. The evening included a wonderful dinner and great musical entertainment. 

Carla Otiniano, Program Manager of the HDS Foundation, sat next to a mother who lost a loved one to suicide. The mother thanked the HDS Foundation for continuing support of FISP and she explained that this organization has helped her family tremendously. She candidly shared her experience and thanked FISP for helping her family in her time of need. Her two daughters dealt with this tragedy differently, but neither one dealt with the pain immediately. Rather, it affected them later in their life did and as a mother it was difficult to understand their pain and help them. With assistance from FISP, she was able to handle this sadness in a productive manner. 

For information on how you can contribute to FISP, visit them online at https://fisponline.org/. 

HDS Foundation was honored to be a part of this insightful gathering and will proudly continue their support. For more information on the HDS Foundation, visit us online at https://www.hdsfoundation.org/ or email Carla Otiniano, Program Manager, at [email protected]