The Week of Hope, a week-long effort by local businesses and residents to raise money and awareness for depression will kick off its second consecutive year in Southampton on Thursday, July 25 and continue through August 4. Beginning Thursday afternoon outside of Ralph Lauren on Job’s Lane, there will be a launch by Co-Grand Marshals Audrey Gruss and Arthur Dunnam, as well as Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren.
The Week of Hope was created by Southampton resident Audrey Gruss’ Hope for Depression Research Foundation, an organization which seeks to fight depression through education and research in honor of Gruss’ mother who was afflicted by clinical depression. Last year, the foundations dual efforts through the Week of Hope and Race of Hope were able to raise over $250,000 for advanced depression research. This year the organization will renew its efforts to fund neuroscientific research on the origins, medical diagnosis, treatments and prevention of suicide, depression and its related mood disorders—bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorder.
This year, over 200 local businesses have agreed to fly environmentally friendly and reusable yellow statement balloons at the entrances of their stores to signal that that are participating in the effort. The week includes several events: the Race of Hope around Lake Agawam, taking place on August 4 at 8:30 a.m.; and the Southampton Shop for Hope on August 1 from 4–6 p.m. During Southampton Shop for Hope, several stores including Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, J.McLaughlin, Geary Gubbins Sports and many others will offer discounts, and a portion of sales will be donated to the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. Geary Gubbins Sports will host a kick-off party for the Run of Hope later in the week.
A detailed calendar of events, a list of participating businesses and more information on the life-saving foundation can be found at hopefordepression.org.