Bloodies and Bagels raises funds for Mental Health America of Aiken | News
Bloody marys, bagels and music were in the air as people came together Thanksgiving morning for this annual fundraiser benefitting Mental Health America of Aiken County.
Mental Health America, which serves Aiken, Barnwell and Edgefield counties, provides information support and resources such as a crisis hotline. The non-profit organization has been in the area since 1967.
“We have never had, in the many years the event has been going on this much attendance,” said Mental Health America of Aiken County Executive Director BonnieAnne Fulghum.
Fulghum said the event had over 1,200 people and ran out of food before it was over. She said the big number of attendees last year helped them prepare, but it still wasn’t enough.
Fulghum said people wanting to be out for the holidays played a factor in the attendance numbers.
“We love it and it is a great way to kick off the holidays,” Bill Carpenter said.
The Los Angeles native has been coming to the event for the last four years and said it is a great way for the community to connect.
“It’s a wonderful sense of community and Aiken is a small town and a great gathering of people… of some you know and some you don’t,” Carpenter said.
Aiken resident and first-time attendee Wanda Bulluck said she likes that the event is helping people become more aware of mental health in the community.
“There are so many people that are suffering from mental health and so many people don’t realize they have problems,” Bulluck said. ”I think people need to focus on helping them.
Fulghum said she hopes people take away the importance of mental health and continue to support the agency in its mission.
“I hope people understand they have done a bigger thing than just coming to an event,” Fulghum said.