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Actor Sean Astin to speak at the Shine Initiative fundraiser

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TV and movie fans probably know him as Rudy in the football movie of the same name or as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the actor behind these and other roles, Sean Astin, has a story. to tell about his mother’s bipolar disorder. mess and will speak Wednesday night at a fundraiser for the nonprofit Shine in Worcester.

Photo | Courtesy | Shine Initiative

Actor Sean Astin

Astin, who also played roles in Stranger Things and The Goonies, is the son of late actress Patty Duke, who won Oscars and Golden Globe Awards for her acting, and has played a long-standing role. in The Patty Duke Show. She became a mental health advocate later in life, a role Astin has since continued.

The more she opened up, the more she shared her pain. It’s very informative for people, Astin told the Los Angeles Times in 2016 after his mother died.

The Shine Initiative, a non-profit organization founded by Leominster’s Fidelity Bank in 2004, works to tackle mental health issues in children and young adults, and the stigma and discrimination that can result from them. The group’s gala will be held online from 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Shine Initiative will present prizes to a team of students from Hudson High School who run an after-school mental health club and to Dr Peter Metz, professor of psychiatry at UMass Medical School in Worcester.

The group’s annual fundraiser held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic is a major financial boost for the small nonprofit, which works at around 50 middle and high schools in the region as part of its Mindmatters program, which includes classroom presentations, teacher and staff training, and forums and conferences for parents and the community. The initiative also has an app of the same name which aims to help young people better understand or seek help with any mental health issue.

“It’s important to fuel the work that we do,” said Fred Kaelin, executive director of Shine Initiative, of fundraising.

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