The New Albany Community Foundation is pleased to recognize Karen and Brian Bailey, longtime New Albany residents and business owners, for recently establishing a fund at the New Albany Community Foundation to support community mental health initiatives.

Inspired by mental health advocate Mariel Hemingway’s fall visit to New Albany and her interaction with the community, the Baileys established the fund to support initiatives that foster discussion and education in this area. The Baileys also created the fund to honor clients and celebrate the 25th anniversary of Rocky Fork Company, founded by Brian Bailey, and Karen Bailey’s company, Cott Systems, which has been in business in central Ohio since 1887.

The fund’s first grant will support The Mariel Hemingway Project, an enhanced program within New Albany Schools that will employ outcome-based programming to help students further develop coping skills, emotional connectivity and empathy in their relationships with their peers. Healthy New Albany is working with school leaders to compliment district programming with similar community programming.

“Listening to the discussion with Mariel Hemingway, who had an extraordinarily difficult family history of mental health challenges and substance abuse, we were inspired to help our own community do more to promote mental health,” said Brian Bailey. “I believe that what we accomplish in New Albany in this area, particularly with students, could become a road map for other communities facing the same challenges. I find that really exciting because it will positively impact even more people.”

The Rocky Fork Company was founded by Brian Bailey in New Albany on January 23, 1991 and a $25,000 check was presented on this same day, 25 years later, to Foundation President Craig Mohre in honor of this milestone and the clients who have been with the company since its beginning. Rocky Fork Company and Cott System employees and family members participated in the check presentation.

“The Baileys are an example of people who work hard, build successful businesses and also do good,” said Mohre. “They have been supportive of so many New Albany initiatives, large and small, and they do it quietly and consistently with a genuine desire to make a difference. This new fund will have an impact and we are grateful for their generosity. We’re also pleased that The Jefferson Series speakers are inspiring our residents to take action to bring positive change to build a stronger community.”