Humble Beginnings: 1984
1984: The Foundation of Hope was formed by Thad and Alice Eure after their son, Thad, was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder in 1975. The Eures experienced firsthand the plight of the mentally ill and the lack of information and treatment surrounding mental illness. They quickly realized that advances in scientific research were critically important to understanding the causes of, and potential cures for, mental illness.
1985: First Grant Given
The first grant was given to Dorothea Dix Hospital Clinical Research Unit for $10,000.
After the death Thad Eure Jr., the employees of the Angus Barn and all his restaurants were affected so deeply that they wanted to honor his legacy somehow. As they sat around the employee break room at the Angus Barn, the idea of a walk was born. Soon a committee of employees from the Eure’s restaurants, the Angus Barn, Fat Daddy’s and 42nd Street Oyster Bar, was formed. Once people heard about the Walk, they wanted to volunteer to help.
1989: The First Walk
The first Walk, called the Thad Eure Jr. Walk for Hope, began with approximately 200 participants earning about $20,000. The walk stretched 12 miles, beginning at the Angus Barn Restaurant and finishing at the 42nd Street Oyster Bar in downtown Raleigh. Many people helped coordinate the first Walk for Hope, and a few of the leaders were Henk Schuitemaker, Jill Rutherford, Jeff Crapster, Wendy Hoover, Brad Hurley, Frank Dale, Van Eure, Keith Fogelman, John Vick and Stuart Woodard. Little did they know how much the Walk for Hope would do to enhance and enlighten the Triangle community’s understanding of mental illness.
1990: Van Eure Becomes Chair of The Walk for Hope
Van remains the chair today. That same year, the Foundation surpassed the half-million-dollar mark of grants.
1991: First Executive Director Hired
Before this point, the Foundation of Hope was run by the Board and volunteers.
The first fundraising gala for the Foundation took place at the home of Alice Eure. 750 invitations were delivered in person. After opening a purple ribbon box, each recipient found a jeweled hand-painted egg, and inside the egg, the invitation. 380 guests at $150 each were treated to the swankiest event Raleigh had seen in years.
The new Neurosciences Hospital at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill opened. The Foundation surpassed $870,000 in grants given.
Alice Eure received the Distinguished Service Award from the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. This award recognized her distinguished and lifelong contributions to the University and its medical school.
Alice Eure died and the Walk was renamed to honor her, now known as the Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope.
Shelley Eure Belk joined the Board of the Foundation of Hope as Alice Eure’s successor.
The Foundation of Hope established the endowed Thad and Alice Eure Distinguished Research Professorship at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to ensure the continued improvements to the treatments for mental illness for years to come.
2004 – 2017
The George Thanhauser Bike for Hope was started as a bike and hike for friends and family to honor the memory of George Thanhauser who lost his battle with cancer. George was an avid biker and strong supporter of the Foundation of Hope. This event grew to nearly 300 bikers annually and raised over $200,000 dollars for the Foundation of Hope in its thirteen years.
The Foundation of Hope surpassed $2.2 million in grants.
The new UNC Women’s Mood Disorder Clinic opened, directed by Dr. David R Rubinow, M.D., Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and an internationally known expert in the evaluation and treatment of women with mood disorders. This unique clinic specializes in women’s mood disorders, offering women in North Carolina hope for what can otherwise be a long and lonely struggle.
The Evening of Hope event was re-created and held at the Angus Barn Pavilion.
The Foundation of Hope surpassed $3.6 million in grants.
The cozy one-room office of the Foundation of Hope on the Angus Barn’s property adjacent to the laundry room could no longer hold the growing Foundation staff. The office moved two miles down the road into the Brownlee Business Park and expanded to four full-time and two part-time employees
Foundation of Hope surpassed $1 million in fundraising for the first time.
To date, the Foundation of Hope has awarded 139 scientific research grants totaling more than $5.7 million. These funds have leveraged an additional $145 million from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) and other federal agencies.