Jazz in June coming June 8

Supporters of mental health treatment in the county are jazzed about being wined and dined this week.

The second annual Jazz in June benefit will be held June 8 to benefit the Clermont Counseling Center.

According to center board member Kathy Rodenberg, the night will contain a number of ways to be entertained and help a good cause in the process.

“Jazz in June is a benefit for Clermont Counseling Center, a dinner and silent and live auction with live jazz music,” said Rodenberg. “We’ll have local jazz pianist Steve Schmidt. There will be a lot of different auction items, and we hope to raise some money for the center.”

After a successful year in 2005, the benefit is already going, surpassing the registered attendance of last year and climbing. Rodenberg said that the hope is for continued growth each year as word spreads.

“This is our second year,” said Rodenberg. “We did this last summer as well. Last year, we had about 120 people in attendance, and this year we hope to top 200. We’re looking to grow a little every year.”

The night will feature dinner and music, as well as an auction of items donated from businesses and individuals from around the county. Also, there will be a raffle held during the evening for a laptop computer and a second prize of $500.

Rodenberg, wife of Clermont County Sheriff Tim Rodenberg, said that her husband has even gotten in on the act with a culinary donation of his own.

“We have a landscape oil painting by James Rodgers, who is a nationally-known artist,” said Rodenberg. “If you know Barry Creighton, he’s well-known in the county as a character, and used to be a sheriff’s deputy, but I was talking with him about the event and he said he’d see if he could get his son-in-law to donate something. I didn’t know who his son-in-law was, but it was this artist. This painting is beautiful, and about a $1,500 value. Royal Oaks donated a country club membership, and every year, my husband has donated a dinner with the sheriff, where he cooks dinner for your family or group. Last year, we did a formal Christmas dinner, but he’ll do a picnic if that’s what you want. We have a round of golf with a PGA pro, Brad Loomis. We’ve also got the donation of professional hula dancers to perform at your next party, so there’s lots of fun stuff.”

Rodenberg said that the public is invited to attend, but there is a $100 cost per person. Corporate sponsorships are also available. The Clermont Counseling Center, said Rodenberg, is designed around the principle of treating every possible need that a mentally ill person has.

“This is a private, non-profit agency,” said Rodenberg. “What we do is provide support services for mental and physical health for severely mentally ill in the community. A lot of times, people with mental health issues have physical health issues as well. They sometimes have problem getting a stable home or problems driving, so they need someone to drive them to and from appointments. The idea is to treat the whole person as much as we can. The problem in this era of shrinking support from the government is we’re at a point where we do things like this benefit. We’ll have another in the fall called ‘Wild Spirit Fine Arts Festival.’ We’ll work with disabled artists along with main stream artists in a summer fair type of format.”

For more information on Jazz in June or Wild Spirits Fine Arts Festival, call the center at 947-7110.