Quad City couple honors son with donation to mental health researchers

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- A Quad City couple is making sure their son's memory lives on by donating thousands of dollars for mental health research.

On Thursday, December 14, George and Gloria Smith handed out three checks, totaling nearly $17,000, to the Robert Young Center, Rock Island County's Mental Health Court, and the University of Iowa Mood Disorders Center.

The money was raised during a summer music festival called AdamFest.

Since 2014, the Smiths have been organizing AdamFest in honor of their 26-year-old son, Adam, who took his own life after a battle with mental illness.

"I don't think there are too many families out there that don't have someone that's had that problem. So, it's hit home, and maybe this is why it's working," said George Smith.

Over the past four years, AdamFest has raised more than $92,000.

Much of that money has gone to support doctors and scholars at the University of Iowa, who are working on cutting-edge research and treatment methods.

"These conditions occur biologically; they occur within the brain. Sometimes they are set off by our environment or by stressors around us, but they are organic brain diseases," explained Amanda Miller, program director at the Mood Disorders Center. "A donation like this gives us a little bit of room to do some discovery and some investigation on maybe a new method that hasn't been looked at yet."

That's why the Smiths have decided to keep AdamFest going, even after the fifth festival in 2018.

"It just warms my heart. Something is being done to help people with depression and mental health problems," said George.

The next AdamFest is scheduled for June 23, 2018, at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds.