Open your favorite media source and you’re bound to come across at least one headline talking about the state of mental health today. But if you look closely, you will notice a lot of discussion and debate is happening but not much action follows. A family in Severna Park noticed this and decided to do something about it.
Two years in a row, Ann and Megan Brennan walked 24 hours straight to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Although their walks raised thousands of dollars, they felt like something was still missing. Suicide and mental health had plagued their community for years, so they sought to create a way to involve the entire community.
The Brennan family teamed up with their friends, Kevin and Jennifer Bonk of the Bonk Team of the Keller Williams Flagship of Maryland, and brought fundraising to their community in a new and exciting way. Burgers and Bands for Suicide Prevention was born, and they started work on their first fundraiser, a concert featuring tons of local bands, great food and fun. Even without any prior experience organizing concerts or events, their first event exploded, bringing in hundreds of people and raising thousands of dollars for the cause.
For this year’s event on June 3, they’re aiming even higher. They’ve recruited beloved local performers, including Jimi Haha, Dean Rosenthal, Starbelly, and the Shatners. With Severna Park Taphouse hosting the event and providing the food, the Brennans expect the venue to be packed for the entirety of the event. With sponsors knocking down their door to donate and this year’s higher ticket sales, the money they raise for suicide prevention is on track to push into the tens of thousands.
Burgers and Bands for Suicide Prevention has grown so big it’s almost become a second full-time job for Ann, but she doesn’t mind. The cause is something that’s affected her family and community directly, so she and her team are relentlessly working to keep it from happening to other people. While they’ll sell tickets at the door, they’ve also launched their website (www.burgersandbands.org) so the community can buy tickets online.