Kelly and David Leonard’s Story
How did you become involved with the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center?
Nick was our friend — as he was to so many other people. We first learned about NFCC through the Finnegan family, following Nick’s death. We wanted to support NFCC because its mission aligns with Nick’s life and is worthy of his legacy. Just as Nick never knew a stranger and was friendly to everyone he met, the counseling center has a broad reach and ensures that the people who come for treatment do not feel alone.
You served as Crawfish Boil Chairs in 2020, the event was ultimately canceled due to COVID. What was that experience like?
We decided to chair the Crawfish Boil to honor Nick’s legacy and the mission of NFCC. The human struggle affects everyone, and those challenges make mental health a universal need. It should not be a luxury. The funds raised through the Crawfish Boil go toward ensuring that everyone — regardless of their financial position — has access to these critical services. The onset of COVID was a challenge to our team. But, as we began to enter into the shared experience of the pandemic, it became clear to us and those who supported the Crawfish Boil that mental health services would be a critical piece of the COVID puzzle facing our community. NFCC met the challenge and continued to provide services as a result of its donors’ generosity.
What do you wish other people knew about NFCC or counseling in general?
Taking the first step to enter counseling can seem daunting. For some people, it is the stigma of seeking help. For others, it is the cost of service. NFCC helps navigate both. NFCC raises awareness of the need that exists for mental health services across all segments of society, normalizing treatment for its patients. And it works tirelessly to keep the cost of service low at $95 per session for those who are able to pay for counseling.
What motivates you to continue to support NFCC and mental health counseling today?
NFCC is a great steward of the funds it raises to support mental health services. The money raised through its fundraisers helps keep the cost of service accessible and ensures that no-one is turned away from services as a result of financial hardship. In a world that needs mental health services more than ever, we think NFCC is a great vehicle to deliver them.