Up, Up and Away

Friday, July 27, 2018

Southampton was awash in yellow balloons Thursday, July 26th as the first ever Week of Hope was launched. Forty-five businesses volunteered to have two-foot tall balloons placed outside their doors in anticipation of next Saturday’s Third Annual Walk of Hope, which benefits The Hope for Depression Research Foundation.

Southamptonite Audrey Gruss, the organization’s founder, and Mayor Michael Irving placed the first balloon outside of Jennifer Miller Jewelry on Main Street.

The foundation, started by Gruss twelve years ago in honor of her mother, Hope, who suffered from depression, is the foremost research organization of its kind in the US. It seeks to put an end to the disease, which affects one in every ten adults in the nation and is the leading cause of suicide.

“Hope is what we want for depression,” said Gruss, “We want people to know that there is help.”

The organization will donate 100% of the proceeds to funding research into the origins and treatment of depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide.

“We started with the goal of positioning fifteen balloons around town, but when every merchant we asked agreed to pitch in, we had to get thirty more,” said Kelli Teglas, Director of Events.

Claire Fair, a Development Associate at the non-profit, said, “Village Hall was so super enthusiastic! They asked us to put up two balloons.”


The Walk of Hope + 5K Run around Southampton’s Lake Agawam starts at 9 am on August 5th. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the event.


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