Guests to this year’s Don’t Worry Be Happy celebration are invited to embrace the spirit of Aloha as the event takes on a tropical theme.
The annual gathering, benefitting the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi, will be held on July 21 at the Biloxi Civic Center. One of the highlights will be the presentation of the 2023 Annette O’Keefe Humanitarian Award, MHASM’s highest distinction, to local luminary Susan Hunt.
Hunt’s name may be synonymous with Carnival Season on the Coast, but MHASM is recognizing her efforts to promote mental health and wellness among children and adults alike. She was a teacher and school administrator for more than 30 years, but she didn’t stop her work with children upon retirement. She is in charge of the Excel By Five program in Biloxi, helping children, parents and grandparents in the early years. She also is a past executive director of the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce. She has deep family roots in Mardi Gras and is a mainstay near City Hall during the parades.
As an Annette O’Keefe Award winner, Hunt is in good company. Past honorees include Dorothy Tinsler, Lynn Frisby, Kearn Cherry, Dr. H. Todd Coulter, Peggy Sprabery, Mona Rose, Lynda Favre, Elaine Stevens, James Edward Bates, Karen Sock, Walter and Katherine Blessey, Dorothy P. Wilson, Todd Trenchard, LuAnn Pappas and Kevin Felsher.
MHASM also will recognize the following community honorees at the event: Tenesha Danielle Batiste, Natalie Bonner, Denois and Dr. Racheal Butler, Dan and Carrie Duncan Cuevas, Keith Davis, Susie Davis, Hope Dossett, Geneva Dummer, Joan Hampton, state Rep. Jeffrey Hulum III and Angela Singletary. Each has a passion for mental health and wellness.
These honoree’s will be helping to raise funds for MHASM’s programs by presenting live auction items for bid. The online silent auction will open a week prior to Don’t Worry Be Happy and close at 9 p.m. on July 21.
The fun kicks off at 6 p.m. with a VIP party, followed by the main event at 7 p.m. Guests will be treated to food tastings from local restaurants, games, a silent auction and more. Admission is $50.
Don’t Worry Be Happy with the Mental
Health Association of South Mississippi
July 21, 6 p.m. VIP party; 7 p.m. main event Biloxi Civic Center