By Hannah Dunckel, Meridian Health Services—
MUNCIE, IN—Travel through the rabbit hole to a world of wonderment and surprise at Meridian Health Services’ Rialzo XII – Wonderland where “Nothing’s Impossible!” This year’s Alice in Wonderland-themed charity gala will be held on Saturday, May 6 and will return to the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie where Rialzo was hosted for its first ten years.
Meridian Health Services and presenting sponsor, Pridemark Construction, invite you to enjoy an evening of dinner, dancing and fundraising games that will leave you “MAD” with excitement. Attendees will enjoy spectacular entertainment by Rialzo arts partners Muncie Civic Theatre, Orchestra Indiana, and Cornerstone Center for the Arts, and the national party band, Universal Crush.
Additionally, Hank Milius, Meridian Health Services’ President and CEO, will receive the Rialzo XII Spirit of Meridian award during the Rialzo program. The award recognizes and pays tribute to an individual who demonstrates proactive actions in promoting healthier communities. Milius is retiring from Meridian at the end of 2023 after 21 years of service. Milius’ visionary leadership lead to Meridian becoming the “Whole-Person” Health Home it is today. Additionally, Milius created Rialzo, which has raised more than $1 million for Meridian’s broad suite of healthcare programming.
Rialzo is a purpose with a party. Rialzo, Italian for “to elevate or rise above,” represents Meridian’s mission to improve lives and make communities healthier through an emphasis on whole-person health. Since the first Rialzo in 2010, the annual charity gala has raised funds to support Meridian Health Services’ programs and services and has benefited thousands of people in need throughout Indiana.
Funds raised at Rialzo will help youth mental and physical health through Meridian’s partnership with local community schools to provide and expand services for children and adolescents in need through Meridian’s School-Based Health Clinics. This comes at a time when children need us most as the nation faces a youth mental health crisis. The Centers for Disease Control found that not only is suicide the third-leading cause of death for youth ages 15-19, but one in four adolescents ages 12-17 have had a substance use disorder or a major depressive episode. Moreover, according to Mental Health America, 56 percent of Indiana’s youth with a major depressive episode did not receive mental health services in the past year. Mental health has a complex integrated relationship with a child’s physical health and their ability to succeed in school, at work and in society. Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical health conditions – highlighting the importance of providing integrated physical and mental health services.
Alice in Wonderland is symbolic of the many changes and trials children face. Often, growing up feels like you are traveling down a rabbit hole that is dark and filled with mystery at every corner as you navigate life. For some, the rabbit hole may include issues at home, bullies, inadequate access to health care, and more that leave a child desperately seeking “Wonderland.” Luckily, just like Alice had the white rabbit and the Mad Hatter – Meridian Health is there to help navigate children to a place where “Nothing’s Impossible!” by offering physical, behavioral, and socially well services.
Feel the energy and see the impact that is only – RIALZO! Learn more and purchase tickets, tables, and sponsorships at Rialzo.MeridianHS.org.