07 Jun 2019

Charity golf tournament funds research and raises awareness for mental health illnesses

A Huntsville family is doing its part to raise critical research funds, while also trying to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. It’s a cause that is near and dear to their hearts, and they aren’t alone.

After all, millions of people suffer from mental health illnesses. Nearly one in five U.S. adults are living with a mental illness. Since 1949, May has been deemed Mental Health Month to raise awareness about mental illness and related issues in the United States. Nearly 100 golfers teed off in support of the second annual Rebecca Partesotti Memorial Golf Classic which was held May 6 at the Valley Hill Country Club in Huntsville.

The family hosts this tournament  in memory of Rebecca Partesotti who died from suicide after a years-long battle with severe depression. The tournament will benefit the Partesotti-Siniard Memorial Fund for Psychiatric Research at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

“What is going on here in this and other buildings on campus [at HudsonAlpha] gives me great hope that we are proceeding on the right path,” said Larry Partesotti, Rebecca’s father and tournament organizer. “As a former member of the U.S. Navy community, I wish HudsonAlpha fair winds and following seas.”

On June 5, the family presented a check for $27,500 to the HudsonAlpha Foundation. This gift will fund mental health research programs at the Institute.

At the check presentation, the family extended sincere  appreciation to all participants, volunteers and sponsors of the golf tournament. Thanks to their generosity, the event continues to raise significant funds and awareness for mental health illness research.

“It really is amazing,” said Karen Petersen, director of annual and planned giving. “This family is so dedicated to honoring Rebecca’s memory in a meaningful way. What they have accomplished in just two years is amazing. We are very thankful for their support of the Institute and their commitment to this very personal and important cause.”