Sister and brother, Libby Mascaro and Sam Kane, both Mt. Lebanon graduates, have experienced the pain families encounter when they try but are unable to help a family member who is tormented and isolated by mental illness. Their mother, Mary Lou, ended her life by suicide in 2013 after a 25-year battle with bipolar disorder. Since then Mascaro and Kane have worked together to heighten awareness of mental illness, which affects one in five adults and children.
Their most recent effort is serving as co-chairs along with Kathy Testoni, another Mt. Lebanon grad, on the first-ever Green Light Gala. The black-tie-optional event will “shine the green light of anti-stigma on mental illness” and also benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southwestern Pennsylvania, a nonprofit organization that provides support, education and advocacy for people affected by mental illness.
Mascaro and Kane will share their inspiring personal story at the gala, to be held at Heinz History Center from 6 to 10 p.m., Thursday, December 1, featuring hors d’oeuvres by the Common Plea, music by Pittsburgh’s Move Makers Band and an auction of a painting by well-known Pittsburgh artist Johno Prascak. The co-chairs are looking for host committee members and event sponsors to join presenting sponsors UPMC Health Plan and Community Care Behavior Health Organization. For more information or for an invitation to the event, visit www.namiswpa.org.