Bowling fundraiser in Grand Junction to raise awareness of mental illness |

Bowling fundraiser in Grand Junction to raise awareness of mental illness


WHAT: Bowling fundraiser for NAMI Western Slope

WHEN: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wed., July 31

WHERE: Freeway Bowl, 1900 E. Main St., Orchard Mesa

COST: $25 for three games + shoes; $16 of it goes to NAMI

*Adaptive equipment is available!

Kaylan Rose Campbell was 25 when she died of untreated postpartum depression in January 2011.

To honor her memory, her family has organized an annual event to raise money for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Western Slope. Bowling for NAMI is planned for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, which is Kaylan’s birthday, at Freeway Bowl in Orchard Mesa.

“Each year since she passed we have celebrated (Kaylan’s) birthday by, as her friend Kaitie says, ‘wearing our weirdness on the outside,’” said Erica Kitzman, Kaylan’s mother.

So in addition, organizers are encouraging folks to wear tutus to the event to mark your “weirdness.” The tutus are meant to be a conversation starter to talk about Kaylan, the work of NAMI, and the stigma of mental illness.

“We are not embarrassed by mental illness or the fact that Kaylan died of hers. We know there is a cure, and we want to be part of the recovery conversation,” said a post on Facebook by Kitzman.

NAMI’s stated mission at is to be a grassroots organization that provides education, support and advocacy for people affected by mental illness and their families.

“Suicidal thinking is just exactly like a high fever. It’s a symptom that needs immediate attention and care, anywhere from rest and chicken soup to a trip to the ER. It’s not a failure of moral strength or good character,” Kitzman wrote.

Admission to the fundraiser is $25 and includes three games of bowling and shoes. The bowling alley is giving $16 out of the $25 directly to NAMI Western Slope.

“I would love to see the bowling alley full next Wednesday, with thousands of dollars for NAMI Western Slope,” Kitzman said.

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