As the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) continues to support those who are experiencing homelessness and mental illness, the organization is proud to announce that its focus on that precise issue will be honored by Mental Health America/The Village (MHA).

Dubbed the Mental Health Hero Award, the DLBA is one amongst a few community leaders and organizations being honored at the 18th Golden Ducky Awards, set to take place Friday, June 3, 2016 at 5:00PM at the First Christian Church in DTLB.

“When it comes to homelessness and mental health, the focus always seems to be on the illness, on the detriment—and not on what’s being done to strengthen mental health and highlight the community’s achievement in battling these things,” said DLBA Board Chair Michelle Molina. “That is what makes this award so important for us: it highlights the successes.”

Molina will join DLBA staff in receiving the honor, which is presented annually to Long Beach community members who demonstrate their commitment to fellow residents who live with mental health diagnoses.

The Golden Ducky Awards, an annual benefit for MHA, are inspired by the Sesame Street song, “Put Down the Duckie,” in which Ernie wants to learn to play the saxophone but must put down his rubber duckie in order to learn something new. The song illustrates the importance of putting down safe and comfortable old ways of doing things in order to take risks and learn to do something new.

The 18th Annual Golden Ducky Awards will occur on Friday, June 3 at 5PM at the First Christian Church, located at 440 Elm Avenue. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Rhonda Schultz at 562-285-1330, extension 252.