"Hatsquerade Masquerade" Fundraising Gala Brings Style and Support to the Many Faces of Mental Illness and Addiction on October 21, 2011

TORONTO, Oct. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Hats On for Awareness' Celebrity Hatsquerade returns with its third-annual fundraiser on Friday, October 21, 2011 at the Liberty Grand.  This year's event has a twist - it's Hatsquerade Masquerade, where you can show-off your support for the many faces of mental illness and addiction by wearing your most eye-catching hat and mask. Proceeds of the Hatsquerade Masquerade, which are expected to exceed $50,000, will support the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The Hatsquerade is the largest third party fundraiser of its kind for CAMH, helping to raise $117,000 since 2009.

This year's fundraiser is focused on youth. Our younger generations experience higher rates of affliction year-over-year: today, approximately 1.2 million Canadians under the age of 19 have a mental illness impeding their ability to live life to its fullest.  Half battle serious drug or alcohol addictions and three-quarters of our youth don't receive the help they desperately need.  Together, with your support for Hats On For Awareness, we're going to change this!

"Mental illness is the number one cause of disability in Canada today, but people usually suffer with stigma and in silence," says event co-chair Enza Checchia. "We want to unveil the many faces of mental illness and addiction at the Hatsquerade Masquerade and teach people how to cope with it head-on until a cure can be found."

"Mental illness and addiction shows no mercy to anyone at anytime; these diseases could afflict your best friend, parent, child, coworker, neighbor, and as we've tragically witnessed this year, even your favourite athlete," adds event co-chair, Benny Caringi.

Hosted by Mad Dog and Maura from Virgin Radio Toronto with featured keynote speaker Michael Burgess, Canadian Actor and tenor, this year's event features performances by award-winning singer-songwriter and dancer Era Chrona; Canadian Special Events' "Entertainer of the Year," A2D2, the Aerial Dance Cirque Company; and Nicholas Rosaci, CityLine regular and DIY designer, will dazzle with his Toonie Hat Design Contest and will introduce the Parade of Hats. Along with the finest milliners in Toronto, hats will also be designed by TV Celebrity Designer Glen Peloso and CityLine show design expert Yanic Simard. There will be a silent auction, gourmet food stations, music by Sound Obsession, and a chance to win a kitchen renovation valued at $20,000 (raffle tickets on sale the evening of October 21st - $20 each!).

WHAT: Hats On for Awareness' Hatsquerade Masquerade
WHEN: October 21, 2011
WHERE: The Liberty Grand, 25 British Columbia Road, Toronto
WHY: To support the important work of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
TICKETS: $150/person

About Hats On For Awareness
Hats On for Awareness is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness to combat the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction. For more information and to reserve tickets, please visit www.hatsonforawareness.com.

For further information:

Media Contacts: 

Nancy Mancini
Chair, Marketing & PR Committee, The Hatsquerade
nancy@marcomblueprints.com
647-500-8968       
                Sharyn Smith
EventfulPR
sharyn@eventfulpr.com
416-899-8045