In a one-family show, Garen and Shari Staglin, and their children, Shannon and Brandon, brought luxe wines, mental health experts, haute cuisine and the velvet rock of Jermaine Jackson to their Rutherford winery last Saturday to help raise $6.1 million for mental health disorders.
The wine, wisdom, and song event celebrated the 18th annual Staglin Family Music Festival for Mental Health. Along with cash and leveraged contributions from public and private funds, the Staglins and their organizations, the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO) and One Mind For Research, have helped to raise $146 million for research and treatment programs over 18 years. IMHRO has become the nation’s leading private-public mental health organization dedicated to raising funds to cure depression, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder.
Speaking at the festival, Dr. Jeffery Lieberman, M.D., and chairman of psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, said, “Because of the economic situation, our area of research has been greatly under funded, and the Staglin family funding has been our salvation.”
Lieberman added that mental illness is one of the top three causes of death in the United States, along with heart disease and cancer. “While there is considerable research on heart disease and cancer, little is done about mental problems,” he said. “While we have been able to identify the problems of heart and cancer patients, and have even been able to reduce heart disease nationally by 60 per cent through screening and treatment, very little is being done for people with brain disorders,” he said. “We don’t screen these patients. We just wait for them to get sick.”
He said mental illness is also responsible for 30 percent of diabetes, and
40 per cent of rheumatoid arthritis cases. Mental illness has become the principle cause of adult disability in America. It affects more than 57 million people. Conference data also indicate that
1.7 million veterans of the Middle-Eastern wars suffer from brain trauma.
Garen Staglin added, “Our momentum continues to accelerate, and along with our work with One Mind for Research, and our partnership with outstanding scientists and researchers, we believe more than ever that the answers and cures to mental disorders are possible in our lifetime."
Following the symposium, in which Lieberman spoke on the early detection and intervention for mental disorders, the 450 attendees were treated to a tasting of 75 of California’s most sought-after wines, including, Screaming Eagle, Bryant Family, Colgin Cellars, Harlan Estate, Dalle Valle and Kosta Brown.
The wines were served in the winery’s caves and paired with hors d'oeuvres by chef, Nancy Oakes of the Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco.
Back under the vineyard tent, Jackson, the R&B superstar of Jackson Five fame, and his band gave the attendees some nostalgic, Jackson-style memories, including “Do What You Do,” “Dynamite,” “Smile,” and “I’ll Be There.”
The post-concert celebration, featured a four-course dinner prepared by chefs Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina from Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles. The dinner was paired with Krug Champagne and Staglin Family Vineyard wines.
The symposium, tasting, and concert have been an ongoing fund raising event since 1995.