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Historical Highlights & Timeline



150 City of Boca Raton And Countywide Community, Business, Education, Healthcare and Spiritual Leaders Embrace Campaign To Advance“Conversation-Starting” Mission


Community stakeholders learned how they can be BOCA BRAVE at Boca Raton’s Promise’s(BRP) “Shades of Blue” Luncheon to kick-off its new grassroots community awareness and education campaign to break the silence for mental health by starting critical conversations at home, school, work and play.

70 Rally to Support Mental Health

Rita Thrasher, accepted a proclamation recognizing Mental Health Month in Boca Raton during the 2nd bi-annual meeting of the South County Mental Health Coalition, at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

 An Amazing Night at The FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge!

Boca Raton’s Promise won $18,500 to help fulfill our promise to keep mental health on the front burner in Palm Beach County.This incredible event at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington raised $2.25 million for charities across Palm Beach County. For more information please visit,

Historical Timeline


1997 - Dr.Merrilee Middleton appointed to America’s Summit by Gov. Lawton Chiles.
1998 - Established as an affiliate of America’s Promise by Gen. Colin Powell, (Ret.), Chairman at FAU.
1999 - All volunteer organization set goals to keep 5 Promises for youth. All youth shall have:
             1-  Caring Adults (mentors)
             2 - Safe Places After-School
             3 - Healthy Bodies and Minds
             4 - Education and Marketable Skills
             5 - Opportunities to Serve
2000 - Organized as a 501c3, hired Executive Director, Rita Thrasher (retired teacher).
2001-07 - Provided resources and programs for promises 1,2,4 and 5.
2005 - Sponsored bi-county event on mental health at Boca Raton Community Middle School.
2006 - Produced report on youth needs in Geater Boca Raton “Unseen Struggles”.
2007 - Adopted : “Breaking The Silence: Teaching The Next Generation About Mental Illness” (NAMI-                      Queens/Nassau). Secured approval for implementation by School District of PBC.
2008 - Established after school FRiENDS programs in 4 elementary and middle schools.
2009 - Partnered with Boynton Beach to establish a South County Coalition for Mental Health.
2010 - Sponsored Lovewell Creative Arts Spring Workshop at Boca Raton Middle School.
2010 - Produced DVD,“Breaking the Silence With FRiENDS” a service learning project by students.
2011 - Provided start-up funds to PBC grass root groups: Lake Worth Connection, Delray Talks,
           Boynton Beach Mental Health Initiative, and Wellington.
2011 - Established the Palm Beach County Action Alliance for Mental Health.
2012 - Sponsored 4 forums to identify mental health needs in Boca Raton.
2012 - Partnered in planning a series of 6 Breaking The Silence workshops with School District.
2013 - New Directors and Advisors developed a vision for Boca Raton as a model community.
2013 - Hired business manager/grant writer, secretary, public relations , technical assistant.
2013 - Trained all public elementary school guidance  counselors with Breaking The Silence.
2013 - Sponsored two Weight  of Words performances for students and school leaders.
2014 - Co-Sponsored national MHEDIC conference, Deerfield Beach

2014 - Published Action Alert; a bulletin listing activities of the PBC Action Alliance.

2014 - Assisted City of Boynton Beach with organization of a Mental Health Advisory Committee

2014 - Participated in Mental Health First Aid Training with Alpert Jewish Children and Family Service.

2014 - Became an Associate Member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities.

2014 - Established Action Alliance Charter and membership/application/procedure form

2014 - Secured agreement and training to license 5 high schools for Weight of Words for 1 year

2014 - Supported OK2Talk community series organized by Mental Health Association, PBC

2014 - Engaged Kaye Communications to create a campaign to “start  conversations”.

2014 - Met with four city mayors to introduce SAMHSA’s Resource Guide to Mental Health for Mayors

2014 - First Annual Voice Award presented to Rita Thrasher by the PBC Action Alliance for Mental Health

2014 - Co-Sponsored First Annual Health and Wellness Conference with PBC District Schools

2014 - Launched Boca Brave “Start a Conversation” for 150, luncheon at Waterstown Hotel.                

2014 - Established Interfaith study group, sponsored initial meetings at AFCFS and in Boca Raton.         

2014 - Sponsored 10 Boca Raton students at Lovewell  Summer Institute in Broward County.              

2014 - Identified 6 South Area pilot schools for BTS curriculum and FRiENDS in grades 4 and 5.   



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