NAMI Collier Presented Five Awards to Local Advocates at the 12th Annual Hope Shines Luncheon

NAPLES, Florida (December 13, 2018) – NAMI Collier presented five awards to individuals for their efforts to educate, support and advocate for the one in five people living with a mental health condition in Southwest Florida. Honorees were recognized at NAMI Collier’s signature event, the 12th annual Hope Shine Luncheon on December 7, 2018, which raises critical funding to support the programs and services that are provided free to 16,000 individuals.

Commissioner Andy Solis was awarded the Impact Award for his impactful contributions in the community, convening County Commissioners’ workshops focusing attention to needs in mental health and leading a county-wide mental health and substance abuse strategic planning process.

Steven Pulizzotto was recognized as the CIT Officer of the Year for his dedicated service with Collier County Sheriff’s Office, receiving numerous awards including the Gallantry Star for verbally de-escalating a suicidal man who was pointing a gun at both himself and deputies, in addition to deescalating other potentially dangerous situations.

Lindy Thomas was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication on the Luncheon Committee for the past ten years, and board member since 2017.  Not only did Thomas garner donations and redesign training space but participated in use of that space as a valued member of the consumer and family panel at crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training, educating officers and first responders about the effects of mental illnesses on family members.

Deena Baxter was recognized as Advocate of the Year and is best known for “The Surviving Suicide and Sudden Loss Project” in partnership with NAMI Collier in 2014.  The mission of the project is to promote life-affirming mental wellness.

Patricia Pike received the NAMI Collier Spirit Award for being the driving force behind NAMI’s Take Two boutique operations, which brings profits to NAMI to help support the mission.