SANDPOINT — Starting Thursday, you have the chance to get some great food AND help a great cause with Eat In For Ethan, a fundraiser for NAMI Far North.
On the third Thursday of each month, Uptown Bagel Co. will host Eat In For Ethan, a fundraiser for the North Idaho chapter of the National Association for Mental Illness. A portion of proceeds from each sandwich sold that day will go to the organization in Ethan Murray’s name.
Ethan, son of local shop owner Justine Murray, recently lost his life due to his ongoing battle with mental illness. Ethan had suffered from schizophrenia and was unable to get help for his condition despite exhaustive efforts by his mother. Justine is using her story to bring attention to the stigma and challenges of establishing proper care for those with mental illness.
Uptown Bagel Co. owners Angelina Henry and Marcy Timblin, both locals, realized that despite the natural beauty and friendly people here, the incidence of depression and mental illness is high compared to other parts of the country. In fact, they noted in a press release announcing the fundraiser that Idaho ranks seventh highest in the country for suicide. Nearly everyone is touched by some form of mental illness. Timblin herself has a grown child who suffers from schizophrenia.
Uptown’s “Choose Happy” tagline is more than a superficial slogan, the pair said, adding that the goal is create a sense of belonging and fun. Henry compares the energetic and welcoming atmosphere to “the ‘Cheers’ experience,” where the customers are like a second family.
However, maintaining that upbeat and cheerful culture while addressing such serious issues is challenging. Timblin assures customers that the fun and energy that Uptown is known for will not go to the wayside on those third Thursdays.
“Like Dutch Bros.’ Drink One For Dane events, Eat In For Ethan is about using our fun brand to highlight education about a cause that happens to be very personal,” said Timblin.
Uptown owners and staff hope that this initiative will encourage people to talk openly about mental illness and learn more about it through NAMI Far North. Free information will be available for those who are interested.
Eat In For Ethan takes place at Uptown Bagel Co., 313 N. Third Ave., in downtown Sandpoint on Thursday, June 20 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information email email@example.com or call 208-263-9276.