Making something good out of something bad seemed to be the unofficial theme at today's Crestwood-Sunset Hills Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at Orlando Gardens.
The lunch started off with Steve Boggeman of Eraser Top Design handing a $2,000 check to Marian McCord on behalf of the CHADS Coalition for Mental Health. CHADS stands for Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide, and is named after Marian's son Chad, who committed suicide at the age of 18 after a battle with depression.
"There is no greater gift that a parent will receive than a child and no greater loss than that of a child," McCord said. "Mental illness is not a warm and fuzzy topic and it's hard to get community support."
Several charities had applied for a grant after the summer's Route 66 Car Cruise at Crestwood Court.
"(One of the points of the car cruise) is to bring people into frequent local businesses and raise money for local charities," Boggeman said.
Since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, Marie Davis from JDRF wanted to sponsor the Chamber luncheon. She introduced Andy Banker, KTVI FOX-2 News Anchor, Rams dome announcer and longtime friend. Banker's niece Sophia was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 18 months.
"The way she has stepped in and triumphed over her affliction is all because of support," Banker said. "No matter what you are talking about, diabetes, mental illness, etc., support means everything."
Banker's tone became more lighthearted after telling stories of the Cardinals' World Series win and how he became the Rams game day public address announcer, a personal dream come true
"As a kid I would go to Busch Stadium and look for Jack Buck's white hair in the broadcast booth, and that's what I wanted to be—that or a stadium announcer," Banker said.
Banker said that even though he got the job years later, that isn't the best part of his job—it's meeting people like Marian (McCord) and Marie (Davis).
Lindbergh High School student Jacob Luciani also received the Student of the Month award, sponsored by Truman Bank, at the luncheon.