The Cypress of Raleigh


Foundation of Hope: Paving the Way for Mental Health Awareness

Thursday, October 12, 2023
Foundation of Hope: Paving the Way for Mental Health Awareness

The Foundation of Hope has dedicated nearly 40 years towards mental health awareness and research in the Triangle area and beyond.

The foundation started in 1984 after Thad and Alice Eure’s son (Thad) was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At that time, there was a stigma surrounding mental health that hindered research, exploration and discussion of mental health and mental illness. Thad and Alice realized there was a need—scientific advances were needed to overcome the misunderstanding of mental illness. Through many challenges, they founded Foundation of Hope to help explore possible causes and cures for mental illness.

Their youngest daughter Shelley is the Executive Director of the Foundation of Hope and her sister Van owns Angus Barn where they host one of their biggest fundraisers of the year—Walk for Hope and Evening of Hope Gala.

I spoke with Jennifer Gibson, Associate Executive Director with the Foundation of Hope. She describes their mission and their model in more detail, “We are one of the few organizations in the country that provide funding and opportunities for new research to conquer mental illness. And, since North Carolina is currently ranked 41st across the States in mental illness prevalence and care access, this research is more important than ever to help combat the mental health tsunami that is overtaking our country after the COVID-19 pandemic. For the last 39 years, we have invested $7.4 million of critical seed funding into innovative research projects, and the impact is substantial, as those grants have since leveraged $211 million in further funding. This research is changing mental illness outcomes, and lives are being transformed for the better everyday.”

Their biggest fundraiser of the year—The Walk for Hope—is hosted each year in October. This community walk started in 1988 after Thad Eure Jr. passed away, and 200 of his employees from Angus Barn and his other restaurants walked 12 miles from Angus Barn to 42nd Street Oyster Bar in honor of his legacy. The first annual walk the following year raised $30,000, and the walk has grown every year! October 8, 2023 will be the 35th year Walk for Hope has taken steps toward mental health awareness for alcoholism, depression, dementia, bipolar disorder, anorexia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The event includes a 5k walk and run, followed by a family-friendly festival with food, live entertainment, drinks, kids activities and more! Each year over 3,000 people join the cause and Walk for Hope.

One of their latest research projects launched in 2021 and is called Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Anxiety and Mood Disorders Programs (CHAAMP). This state-of-the-art program was launched at UNC with an initial impact gift of $1 million.

While the Walk for Hope is one of the largest fundraising events for their foundation, there are other ways the community can help and get involved.Volunteers can do anything from working events, to office work, to help spread materials around the community. Donations are accepted and are a key factor in funding research projects. To donate, you can visit, call, or mail a check to their office. We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, April 22 andSunday, April 23 for a special Bawdy and Naughty performance by Villa E Member, Dr. John Marks. This performance will benefit The Foundation of Hope so please join us in showing our support!

The Cypress of Raleigh, based on the award-winning model found in Hilton Head and Charlotte, has established itself as a leading Life Plan Community/CCRC. Since opening in 2008, The Cypress has served its Members as a community of vitality and elegance.