mental health, illinois, rock island county, adam smith, adam fest

Raising money for mental health research

East Moline, Illinois-- Adam Smith took his own life seven years ago at twenty-six years old. His family still doesn't understand why. Adam seemed like a happy person and excelled in the classroom according to his father George.

After his death, his family started organizing AdamFest to raise money for mental health research.

This is the fifth year they've held the event. They combine information and outreach for mental illness and Adam's love for music.

Adam's father, George, has been playing music for decades and in Adam's final years music helped soothe him.

"He picked up guitar a few years before he got really sick and ended up taking his life and that in itself helped him so much. He always had a guitar in his hands, always playing, always trying to learn new things," said Meghan Smith. Meghan is Adam's older sister. She says the event every year is bittersweet.

They hope the live music can help others struggling with depression.

"A lot of these people that are here today are suffering like my son, their folks. The stories are unbelievable that I've heard today," said George Smith.

The event has food, a 50/50 raffle, and t-shirts in order to raise money. The community gets involved by creating and donating baskets that are raffled off.

Over the past four years over one hundred thousand dollars have been raised at AdamFest. The money is split between the University of Iowa, Unity Point Robert Young Center and the Rock Island County Transitions Program.