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Picnic at the Mills provides fun, bolsters health in the community

Get your picnic basket and blanket ready for the Picnic at the Mills (formerly Sunday Funday) on Sunday, April 28 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The UNC Health Nash Foundation is hosting this free fundraising event to provide fun for all ages and to support the health of our community.

The Picnic at the Mills traces its roots to Sunday Funday, which began as a ticketed drive-in concert event in 2021 and continued through last year. This year the event has relocated to the Rocky Mount Mills in order to reach more members of the community and is free thanks to corporate sponsors, Host sponsors, and the Rocky Mount Mills.

This free event will feature a DJ and a magician, as well as fun activities for kids. While some seating will be available in the Beer Garden, attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

The chance to preorder food has ended, but you can grab food or drinks from one of the establishments at the Rocky Mount Mills, like Bright Penny Brewing, Larema Beverage Co, Tipsy Tomato, Goat Island Bottle Shop, HopFly, Koi Pond, and Pinspiration. An ice cream truck, Skippy Dippy Doos, will also be on-site, and they will donate $1 for every ice cream sold.

There will also be several fundraising games including “Punch for a Prize,” “Cupcake Pull,” and a “Lucky Key” game. These games will require donations to play. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. There will be some great prizes to win. All money raised from the games and donations will go to the UNC Health Nash Foundation.

In addition to promising great fun for the whole family, the event will raise money to support the health of our community. UNC Health Nash Foundation hopes to raise $85,000 this year.

The Foundation has worked to strengthen the health of our community for nearly 25 years. The money raised will help the Foundation continue to do so.

The funds will be used “to improve health outcomes for our community and support transitional care services for patients outside the walls of the hospital,” according to Kathleen Fleming, Director of UNC Health Nash Foundation.

Fleming said funds from the event will go specifically to support the Foundation’s Community Paramedic Program and Recovery Support Services for Substance Misuse and Mental Health.

The Community Paramedic Program provides patient assistance and at-home care for high-risk patients.

Fleming shared that Community Paramedics completed 5,436 visits in 2023, but more funding is needed to reach all qualifying patients.

The Recovery Support Services for Substance Misuse and Mental Health was established last year through grant funding and in partnership with the Emergency Department. Funds raised will provide Patient Assistance to individuals in the Recovery Support Program. As the program grows, the Foundation will support the salary of a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist to help patients get the necessary resources and care.

Fleming emphasized that this event would not be possible without the support of the community saying, “We are extremely thankful for the support of Rocky Mount Mills and on-site businesses that are welcoming us with open arms. The Southern Bank Foundation and Boice-Willis have committed significant funds to ensure that this event and the Foundation are successful. We are thankful for all of the generous businesses, organizations, and individuals that support the Foundation.”

If you would like to donate to the UNC Health Nash Foundation, you can give online or in person at the Picnic at the Mills.

Photo provided by UNC Health Nash Foundation

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