Compass Health Celebrates Virtual Building Communities of Hope Gala by Honoring Client Stories on World Mental Health Day

September 18, 2020

Compass Health, Northwest Washington’s behavioral healthcare leader, is proud to honor client stories and voices at its fourth-annual Building Communities of Hope Gala fundraiser, planned for October 10, 2020. The virtual event, which coincides with World Mental Health Day, will be streamed live on YouTube, and proceeds from the evening will support Compass Health’s child, youth and family services.

“Every year, Compass Health serves 6,300 children and families across Northwest Washington. In 2020 – as families grapple with medical, educational, economic and social challenges – we know that our mental health and substance use support services are more important than ever,” said Tom Sebastian, president and CEO of Compass Health. “We’re thrilled to take this opportunity to truly amplify the voices of our clients in our first-ever virtual Gala. In this new format, we have plenty of opportunities for community members to engage with and support our work, and I’m confident that this will be reminiscent of the night of hope and community that we look forward to each fall.”

The evening will feature an address by Sebastian followed by a video presentation led by Amanda, a Compass Health client and team member. Amanda, whose son was a client of Compass Health’s WISe youth wraparound services, was so inspired by the treatment and care that he received that she joined the organization as a parent partner with WISe almost two years ago. Now, the mother and son are teaming up to share their journey to help destigmatize conversations surrounding mental health care.

“Over the years, Compass Health has truly understood my family’s concerns and acted with compassion and empathy to give us the tools to succeed,” Amanda said. “When I joined the Compass Health team as a parent partner, I learned that it was important to share our story and help others realize that they’re not alone, and I’m honored to share our voices at this year’s BCOH Gala.”

Presented in part by Kaiser Permanente, First Interstate Bank, Genoa Healthcare and Integrated Telehealth Solutions, this year’s fundraiser will benefit Compass Heath’s child, youth and family services. The primary beneficiaries are Compass Health’s Child and Family Outpatient Programs, Children’s Intensive Services / Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe), Camp Outside the Box, Camp Mariposa, Services for Victims of Sexual Abuse and their Family Members / Child Advocacy Program (CAP), and Compass Health’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program.

“As families navigate everything from childcare to school systems, it’s crucial that we maintain these services during times of crisis and uncertainty,” said Sebastian. “I’ve always been impressed with how our community rallies together to uplift one another, and I am looking forward to celebrating whole person health and honoring the very people we serve.”

The robust list of programs supported by this year’s Gala exemplifies the range of services offered by the 118-year-old organization. With a focus on providing a full spectrum of accessible care, Compass Health’s child, family and youth programs are designed to promote positive changes in behavior, help the child and family learn appropriate coping skills, and improve communication skills including learning to resolve conflict and manage emotions in a healthy manner. In addition to honoring the family voice and choice, clinical services such as the Child Advocacy Program offer specially trained therapists who utilize evidence-based treatment to address long-term conditions that often result from abuse or trauma.

“This night promises to be filled with joy, and I’m excited to share this moment with our community,” said Tom Kozaczynski, chief development and communications officer at Compass Health. “We’re thrilled to include the full scope of our youth and family services for support – this is a challenging year, and as a front-line behavioral health provider, we know these programs will help provide a lifeline of hope to families in need.”

The BCOH Gala’s silent auction opens on October 6, at 10 a.m. PDT and closes on the night of the event at 6:10 p.m. The Gala will be broadcast live on YouTube starting at 5:30 p.m. PDT on October 10, beginning with live music from Seattle jazz ensemble, Ambience. After the silent auction closes, the live event will proceed with client testimonials, a word from Sebastian, a raise-the-paddle donation opportunity and a two-item live auction. The event will conclude at 6:30 p.m., and those interested in participating can find more information and a link to register for free at

“It’s unfortunate that we can’t get together in person this year, but several donors are making the best of the situation by engaging their ‘table’ of friends, family and colleagues via YouTube to watch the Gala together,” Kozaczynski said. “It’s wonderful to see everyone’s creativity, and we’re excited to be able to continue to share this night with our community.”

In 2019, Compass Health’s Building Communities of Hope Gala surpassed both fundraising and attendance goals by raising more than $288,000 in support of the organization’s youth mental health services and bringing together 520 community members.

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