BANGOR, Maine — Locals who wanted to support children’s programs at Acadia Hospital got the opportunity to do so and enjoy some homemade gourmet food and a list of distinctive beers at Saturday’s preconcert party, held just before Melissa Etheridge hit the stage on the Bangor Waterfront.
“We treat children from across the state with mental illness,” said Deb Sanford, vice president for patient services at Acadia, while standing inside Nocturnem Drafthaus at 56 Main St.
Patrons at the preconcert party paid $50 a ticket with proceeds benefiting area children in need of mental health services, she said.
The hospital admits about 600 children under the age of 18 each year and also operates a day program that treats another 600 or so, Sanford said.
“We serve a lot of kids,” she said. “This fall we’re looking to open up an adolescent substance abuse program to work with students. It’s a real need in the community.”
The money raised at the pre-Melissa Etheridge concert party will help pay for services of children who otherwise would fall through the cracks, Sanford said.
Insurance typically pays for patient care and “this really helps with financing charity care,” she said. “There are a lot who are under-insured or not insured.”
The preconcert party was the brainchild of Bangor caterer Ann Marie Orr, who is chairwoman of Acadia’s development council.
“This is all about the children,” Orr said, just before picking up a tray of brownies to distribute. “It takes a village to raise a child … and its obvious and apparent we need to take steps here because they are our future.”
“It’s a very worthwhile cause,” several attendees said.
The event also was a way to let people know about another coming fundraiser, a battle of the bands, scheduled for Nov. 5 at Husson University, Sanford said.
More than 65 tickets to the preconcert party were sold and it appeared folks were enjoying the gourmet foods and the beverages offered by the drafthaus.
Those who want to make a donation to the charity can visit healthcarecharities.org.