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Vero Beach, FL –The Mental Health Association Announces the Winner of “Bahama Mama”

Vero Beach, FL – The Mental Health Association in Indian River County is excited to announce Adam and Traci Preuss as the winners of the raffle for The Bahama Mama Turtle. Bahama Mama was painted by the talented Barbara Sharp of Main Street Vero Beach for the Mental Health Association’s Annual “MHA Rocks” Party. This year’s event; Party and Dance through the Decades raised funds to continue the free, walk-in mental screenings at the MHA’s Walk-In & Counseling Center. Little did Barbara expect to have such a close connection with the winners.

“I saw Traci and Adam at the party but did not recognize who they were at first. I was going up to Traci to tell her how much I loved her Go-go boots and how I always wanted a pair like that as a young child,” Barbara said. “I knew Traci’s mother for 25 years, and I painted the champagne flutes for Traci and Adam’s wedding. The night they won Bahama Mama was three years to the day of her passing. It was extremely sentimental for us all,” concluded Sharp.

“Carolyn, who passed away a few years ago was a friend of Barbara Sharp,” began Adam Preuss. “Traci and I saw Barbara’s name on the turtle and thought ‘Carolyn is looking down on us and wants us to win this turtle.’ Then we ended up being the winner of Bahama Mama!” Preuss said.

The TurtleTrax – Overcoming Hurdles with Turtles that are seen all around Indian River County serve as a landmark to help diminish the stigma associated with Mental Illness. Each turtle has its own unique design, as many different artists have had a chance to paint one. Barbara Sharp, the creator of Bahama Mama, has also painted several turtles throughout the time TurtleTrax has been around. She’s currently working on a table-top sized Vero Beach Centennial turtle that will be auctioned off by the MHA.

Dr. Nicholas Coppola, President and C.E.O. of the Mental Health Association of IRC, said “The Party and Dance through the Decades was a great success. We are looking forward to next year’s fundraiser, which will stick with 'MHA Rocks' theme to include a live band, dancing and costume party. Music and dancing is great therapy for everyone’s mental health. ” Dr. Coppola continued, “I am very excited to be a part of the Mental Health Association of Indian River County, and I look forward to seeing the impact MHA will have on our community. We have some great things planned for the future.”


About the Mental Health Association

The Mental Health Association in Indian River County Walk-In & Counseling Center, located at 820 37th Place, in Vero Beach, offers individuals experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition free mental health screening, crisis intervention services, and information and/or referral about how to address their mental health issues. The center is open Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Psychotherapy, group therapy, case management, and psychiatry services are also available for clients seeking ongoing mental health services on an appointment basis at the center. For more information on the Mental Health Association’s Walk-In & Counseling Center, call 772-569-9788.

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