ELH Final 5A little less than a month ago Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group had the opportunity to cater a delicious dinner to guests on the Willis Tower Skydeck for a very important cause. Co-hosted by the Erika’s Lighthouse Board and Young Adult Board, the theme of this Chicago fundraiser was Monte Carlo Night.

Overall, this night provided a great opportunity for Chicagoland community members to come together to help Erika’s Lighthouse educate about adolescent depression. Their goal is not only to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness, but also to empower teens to take charge of their mental health. In addition to working with teens, Erika’s Lighthouse also works to educate as well as learn from young adults, parents, schools, health professionals, and community organizations.

In particular, mental illness is a disease that impacts nearly 20% of teens before adulthood, and 80% of teens with depression remain unrecognized and untreated because they lack the appropriate mental health education. As a group that believes in “getting depression out of the dark,” Erika’s Lighthouse feels that teens deserve to learn about what teen depression is and how they can better manage it. Everyone deserves strong mental health and the right to live a happy, healthy, productive life.

Monte Carlo Night was energetic and vibrant, filled with live music and games. There were four hours of bar service, dancing, and sixteen casino tables including blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps from licensed dealers. Expert teachers were there to help guests learn the games and win big! The night also featured some great raffle prizes, meanwhile guests enjoyed 360 degree views of downtown Chicago.

We were honored to have been the catering partner at this special event. Truthfully, it opened our eyes to the statistics and importance of teen depression and how we can advocate for it moving forward. One might ask, “How so?” Well, like we discovered, there are many ways to become involved. Specifically in relation to Erika’s Lighthouse, you can make a donation, sign up for their blog, bring an Erika’s Lighthouse program to your school or community, or join the Executive Council or Young Adult Board to help advocate and raise funds. Additionally, you can join the Erika’s Lighthouse team at their next event—run for them in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon or Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago 5K or Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon.

Please visit www.erikaslighthouse.org for more information on Erika’s Lighthouse and teen depression.