Two-time Olympic wrestling medalist, Rulon Gardner, will be giving his motivational speech, “Never Give Up, Never Stop Trying: 7 Steps to Success” to help kick off a wellness grant, called the H.E.A.L project, for Breakthrough, a Wichita nonprofit dedicated to serving people living with mental illness. The speech will take place Wednesday, October 8 at 7 p.m. at the WSU Hughes Complex at 29th and Oliver.
Gardner is best known for his 2000 Olympic defeat of Soviet legend Alexander Karelin, but his success did not come easy. He has had to overcome numerous challenges in his journey to Olympic gold and his story is an inspiration to millions. Similarly, thousands of people in the Wichita area must overcome the challenges of living healthy while struggling with mental illness and Rulon’s tale can be a true motivation to them for accomplishing their goals. The event is FREE and is open to everyone!
Breakthrough recently received a $396,000 matching grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted to health and health care, to be used for its Health Education and Leadership (H.E.A.L.) project, which was created with the goal of empowering individuals who have a serious mental illness to take charge of their wellbeing through physical activity and healthy nutrition skills. RWJF dollars will be matched by the project’s funding partners including United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Wichita Community Foundation, and Cargill Cares. The organizations have matched $256,000 so far.
Partners for the grant include: Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, Genesis Health Clubs, the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, and the Department of Human Performance Studies at Wichita State University. The project will enable these partners to facilitate a vast community change in how health professionals and social service providers implement wellness services for people with severe mental illnesses.