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WCPO telethon raises $225,000 for addiction recovery, mental health programs at Madi's House

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 00:12:00-04

CINCINNATI — WCPO raised $225,000 with a Thursday night telethon supporting a cause that hits home for many families across the Tri-State — including the family of our very own chief meteorologist, Steve Raleigh.

After the tragic death of their daughter Madi, Raleigh and his wife, Julie, set out on a mission to support those struggling with addiction and other mental health illnesses and their families.

That mission last year culminated in Madi's House "The Annex," a 2,200-square-foot space in the Western Hills neighborhood of Green Township that provides therapeutic and educational sessions, along with fun events to help people heal and reconnect with the world.

The Raleigh family stands outside what will become Madi's House's new home in this undated photo.

"The need for Madi’s House is imperative as the numbers continue to rise both for addiction and mental health problems following the pandemic," Steve Raleigh said. "The suicide rate alone in Ohio has risen 37%. Nothing like Madi’s House exists in the Greater Cincinnati area, or for that matter in the region. It’s time we fight this trend so we have a healthier community."

COLUMN: I wish I'd had Madi's House to help with my loved one's addiction

Madi's House's programming has been so successful, the Raleighs said, that they're running out of room at the Annex. To help, Bon Secours Mercy Health has gifted a 7,000-square-foot residence in Mount Airy — located on the former Powel Crosley Estate — that’s ready to be transformed into a new, larger home for Madi’s House.

The Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, who have occupied the home since 1963, eagerly embraced Madi’s House and moved out to make room for the organization's cause, but the home and its land need to be renovated to accommodate events and group sessions in a welcoming, uplifting environment — a place for people who are sober and in recovery to hang out, build community and make new friends.

This rendering depicts plans to renovate Madi's House new property in Mount Airy.

That's where the telethon and WCPO's viewers came in. WCPO aired the telethon throughout Thursday night, culminating in a special hosted by the Raleighs and featuring members of the Madi’s House community who shared their personal stories and the difference it’s making in their lives. Viewers donated $225,000 to support the organization.

"Families in our community have been devastated by addiction and mental illness, and the work that Madi’s House provides is critical to helping save lives,” said Jeff Brogan, vice president and general manager of WCPO 9. "We know the passion that Steve and his family have put into this project and are proud to help support this important cause."

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health crisis, help is available. Call 1-800-273-8255 any time to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Crisis Text Line is available 24/7 at 741-741 for those who might be uncomfortable with a phone call.