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Press Releases

Ryan Leaf, Former Collegiate and NFL Quarterback, Will Be Penn Foundation’s Autumn Event Keynote Speaker

(SELLERSVILLE, Pa.) – Ryan Leaf, former collegiate and NFL quarterback turned mental health advocate, will be the keynote speaker at Penn Foundation’s Autumn Event fundraiser on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 7:30 pm at Pennridge High School (1228 N. Fifth Street, Perkasie).

In recovery himself, Leaf is an advocate for those struggling with mental and behavioral health issues and encourages audiences to transform the way they think about mental health issues and addiction. Leaf hopes to help eliminate the mental health stigma and says, “Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.” The strong presence Ryan holds in a room is not just due to his 6-foot-6 frame, but the impassioned commitment he has made to serve those who are struggling.

This event is open to the community. Tickets are $25 each or four for $75. To purchase tickets or to become an event sponsor, CLICK HERE or call 267.404.5937.

In addition to the keynote speaker, Autumn Event also honors one of Penn Foundation’s servant leaders.  This year’s honoree is Lu Mauro, MEd, CPRP, Director of Mental Health Rehabilitation Services. Mauro will receive Penn Foundation’s annual Vernon H. Kratz, MD Penn Foundation Service Award on September 24.

Richard Curtis, Souderton Area High School teacher and host of the “ClassH Room” on Fox29 will return as emcee for the evening.

Penn Foundation would like to acknowledge its Autumn Event media partners – Fox29, Bucks County Herald, 94WIP Sports Radio, WNPV, and Suburban One Sports. Penn Foundation is also grateful to its event sponsors to-date: Aetna Behavioral Health; Univest Bank and Trust; Penn Community Bank; QNB; Selective Insurance; Altek Business Systems, Inc.; The Community at Rockhill; Grim, Biehn, & Thatcher; Harleysville Bank; Hatfield Quality Meats; Landis, Hunsberger, Gingrich & Weik, LLC; and R. Lee and Ruth Delp.

About Ryan Leaf
Football was Ryan Leaf’s life. He rivaled Peyton Manning for the Heisman trophy, and in 1998, he was the number two pick in the NFL draft behind Peyton Manning. But the pressure to perform on such an elite level was more than he was prepared to deal with, ultimately leading to the demise of his professional football career. After his official retirement from the NFL in 2003, Leaf still struggled with his mental health and began to abuse prescription opiates due to a previous football injury. He solicited pain medication from football players and eventually was caught stealing from the home of one of his players in order to feed his addiction. In May 2011, doctors found a mass in Ryan’s brain. While going through radiation treatment, Ryan relapsed on pain medication after not disclosing to the doctor his addiction past. Prison followed soon after.

About Lu Mauro, MEd, CPRP
Lu Mauro, M.Ed., CPRP has worked in the behavioral health field for over 30 years, dedicating the majority of her career to the practice of psychiatric rehabilitation. With a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University and Certification as a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner, Mauro currently serves as Penn Foundation’s Director of Mental Health Rehabilitation Services. In this role, Mauro provides leadership and support for Penn Foundation’s psychiatric rehabilitative and housing programs. Lu joined Penn Foundation in 1993 and was instrumental in the creation of Wellspring Clubhouse, a social, educational, and vocational rehabilitation program for adults living with mental illness.

About Autumn Event
Autumn Event is Penn Foundation’s signature fundraiser, helping the organization to provide innovative, responsive, quality care in our community. Since 2004, Autumn Event has raised over $2 million for Penn Foundation. Each year through Autumn Event, Penn Foundation is able to raise awareness of the ways it can help the community access the mental health services and addiction treatment that they need. Additionally, this event is an opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate the successful recovery journeys of clients and thank supporters for continuing to make it possible for Penn Foundation to deliver its mission to instill hope, inspire change and build community. 

About Penn Foundation
Founded in 1955, Penn Foundation is a non-profit organization providing innovative services to address the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of individuals in our community. With headquarters in Sellersville, Bucks County, and satellite offices in Colmar, Souderton, and Pottstown, Penn Foundation employs 440 compassionate professionals that serve more than 19,000 children, adolescents, and adults each year with integrated, holistic care designed to meet the unique needs of each person. Penn Foundation believes strongly in the resiliency of the human spirit and is committed to instilling hope, inspiring change, and building community.