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Change Your Mind: Mental Health Awareness & Emotional Wellness

Anytime Patricia Keller of #citygatesevents organizes an event, my ears perk up and I normally sign up for it. She's such a great organizer, so thoughtful, and on top of it to get the word out about the upcoming event. Well, as usual she was on top of things when she organized the event, Change Your Mind: Mental Health Awareness & Emotional Wellness, a fundraiser for the nonprofit Interfaith Community Services, at the Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre.

Oceanside has come a long way from the days of being a bit downtrodden, high in drugs and crime, and a hot spot for the young military men to explore into the wee morning hours. This working class coastal town is adjacent to the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, the Corps' largest West Coast expeditionary training facility. #CampPendleton encompasses more than 125,000 acres of #SoCal terrain. My father was a #marine, almost a gunnery sergeant, but his health declined which made him ineligible. After being enlisted for 20 years, he retired from the Corps. My family spent a lot of time on the Base so there's a lot of memories tied up in those acres of wide open space.

#Oceanside holds many childhood memories for me: The Harbor with its smell of seaweed, fish, and gasoline and oil floating atop of the water, the sandy beaches next to the military one, and the Pier.

Just last week the end of the Pier burned down with the restaurants. It was sad to see the billowing gray smoke captured on footage from the local news stations, the images posted on #Nextdoor and on the feeds of #Twitter now known as X. So this past Saturday, when the hubby and I arrived early in the morning to attend the third annual Change Your Mind festival, we were initially taken aback by the site of black charred wooden legs of the Pier. But overall, it wasn't too bad. Just the very end of the Pier was damaged and most likely will be renovated with the help of future fundraisers.

The event was held in the Amphitheatre. Fusion Essentials was part of the Sensory Tour. I was so glad that Joshua and I arrived early because we had the perfect spot for the crowds. Patricia Keller and City Gates Event staff were there running around setting up the equipment, checking in vendors and volunteers. I met up with Lead Development Coordinator Daniel Gauthier whom I had corresponded with via email about the event. He was very kind and encouraging, always checking in with us and making sure we had everything that we needed.

The event was a delight. I was a bit nervous (as always) in the beginning, but the event had a lot of attendees, and my booth had waves of passersby breathing the aromas of my products. I received a lot of compliments which made me very happy. Joshua was helping me out as well -- yes, that's how many visitors were at my booth!

It also made me happy that the fundraiser supported Interfaith Community Services. This #nonprofit has been around for 45 years! It opened in 1979 as a food pantry. Now, it provides multiple services and basic needs to struggling families, widows, veterans, the homeless and more.

If you didn't happen to attend this year's Change Your Mind event, I hope you do change your mind and attend next year's fundraiser.

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