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About the Ed Lally Foundation

MISSION: Our mission is to advocate for a proactive approach to mental health & suicide prevention through accessible practices of meditation, mindfulness, authentic self-expression and community connection.

VISION: Our vision is to foster a world community connected through our shared experiences of inner struggle, forged through awareness and united through compassion. 

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As a family, we walked hand in hand with my beloved father Ed Lally as he suffered through multiple bouts of clinical depression - the last of which culminated in suicide. Through my Dad’s journey, as well as our own personal experiences, we know first-hand the pain and isolation of depression and anxiety. 

Since his passing, we’ve also come to know the profound healing born out of proactive approach to mental health. Through the Ed Lally Foundation, we endeavor to share the research-based practices of self-awareness and self-expression that have helped us to find healing; practices that improve our ability to cope with, navigate and heal from experiences of depression and anxiety; practices that foster our recognition that we are are not alone in our mental-emotional struggles, and that together, we have the power to heal.  

We welcome you to join us online or in-person at any of our classes, events or experiences, and we encourage you to come as you are - anxious, stressed, depressed or at ease. We promise to meet you with an open heart and an open mind.

Sincerely,

Jordan Lally, Co-Founder

The Ed Lally Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt 510(c)3 corporation established in 2014.

 

Our History

 

With the support of his family, Jordan Lally started the Ed Lally Foundation (ELF) after his beloved father Ed lost his battle with clinical depression to suicide. Jordan, who has navigated his own personal challenges with social anxiety and depression, spoke openly about his family’s struggles, for the very first time, at his father’s funeral. The next day, with nothing more than an earnest desire to understand and to heal, he turned to meditation.

With no experience and no teacher, just the memory of his father held close to his heart, Jordan embarked on a daily practice of meditation and mindfulness. Slowly and surely, he garnered an ability to cope with his anxiety and depression, and with his continued practice, he began to realize a tremendous amount of healing. As friends and family inquired into his well-being, Jordan would share vulnerably about his mental health struggles, as well as the meditation strategies and breathing techniques he was using to heal. Organically, these conversations led him to help individuals and families who were also struggling. As he continued to give voice to his journey of truth and meditation, he began receiving requests to speak, and Big Infinite, his band, began receiving requests to play, at mental health related events. A turning point arrived when he was invited to serve as the Plenary Speaker at the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Conference in Harford County, Maryland in 2018.   Given his history of anxiety, the thought of standing on stage for an hour giving a standard plenary speech, with powerpoint, sounded dreadful. So, Jordan vowed if he was to accept the plenary invitation, he would do so by expressing himself as authentically as he could - through music, storytelling and guided meditation. His Big Infinite bandmates DJ Fritzges and Andre Toney, joined him at the event and that plenary served as the beginning of the Power of Expression program.  After the conference, schools began reaching out and the mental health outreach started to take off - school presentations, meditation classes, support groups, and more.  The time had come to formalize the ELF and work towards a more sustainable model for the mindful mental health outreach.  In 2018, Jordan Lally, current Board Chair, Pete DeCapite, and Board Member, Megan Lally established the ELF as a 501c3. 

The ELF fills the void in the mental health service community when it comes to proactive solutions that are independent, affordable and accessible.  The proactive solutions that exist are often ineffective, too expensive and, not to mention, the long wait lists to see a therapist.  The ELF wants to empower individuals to take their mental health in their own hands with accessible peer-to-peer support groups, and research-based practices of meditation and mindfulness proven to heal the brain and improve the ability to cope with, and to heal from struggles with mental health.  



ELF Staff

Jordan Lally
Founder

569d670b-9cae-4086-b3dc-ea027f8bd187.jpgJordan Lally is a mental health advocate, meditation teacher, singer-songwriter and speaker. Following the loss of his beloved father to clinical depression and suicide, Jordan established the Ed Lally Foundation to raise awareness for mindful mental health and suicide prevention. Through a mix of personal stories, original songs and guided meditations, Jordan shares his own struggles with mental health and teaches the practices of self-awareness and self-expression that helped him to heal. He tours with this bandmates in the Big Infinite, sharing their music and mental health message through a wide variety of concerts and community events on behalf of the Ed Lally Foundation. Jordan earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s University and his Advanced Certification in Yoga Nidra, Meditation & Mindfulness from the Amrit Yoga Institute. He is both QPR and Mental Health First Aid certified. Jordan lives in Pleasant Hills, MD with his wife Megan, their two daughters and his mom Sharon. 

Heather Bond, LCSW-C
"Power of Expression" Program Manager

img_2781.jpgHeather Bond is a clinical social worker who practices traditional therapy and PSYCH-K, energy psychology.  She is passionate about mental health, helping people to heal, and to be the best version of themselves.  She has over 20 years of experience supporting children, teens and adults. She currently has her own private practice, and works contractually with a community mental health clinic for the chronically mentally ill, and with an adoptions agency providing home studies to adoptive parents. She is also an avid meditator, lover of nature, and supporter of the work, dedication and passion of the Ed Lally Foundation.  

Heather has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and has been trained in basic and advanced PSYCH-K. She is also attuned to reiki. She lives  in Catonsville, MD with her two beautiful children. 

Donald Fritzges, Jr.
Digital  Coordinator

img_8163_copy.jpgDonald Fritzges Jr, also known as Dj is a multi-instrumentalist for the Big Infinite, crisis text line counselor, certified Meditation Instructor through the Centre of Excellence, QPR GateKeeper Instructor Certified, and is Mental Health First Aid Certified.  

Dj lives in Forest Hill with his wife, Kim, Daughter, Annela, and their Cavapoo pup, Nesta.

 

 

 

 

ELF Board of Directors

Pete DeCapite
President/Treasurer

resized_20220128_121645.jpgPete is the current president and treasurer of the Ed Lally Foundation.  He graduated from James Madison University in 2003 with a degree in Accounting and John Carroll High School in 1999. Pete also received his CPA license in 2005.  He is the owner of his accounting firm, DeCapite & DeCapite, PA in Bel Air, MD.  He has also served on the board of many non-profit organizations, including the St. Margaret School Board, St. Margaret Parish Finance Committee and the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail.  

Pete lives in Bel Air, MD with his wife Kristin and their three children.

 
Megan Lally
Co-Founder / Vice-President

1bb963ae-7805-4475-bd6c-d08ac65ca8f5.jpgMegan Lally is the co-founder and the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Ed Lally Foundation. After the passing of her beloved father-in-law, Megan, and her husband Jordan, committed to ending the stigma associated with mental health and promote overall health and wellbeing through holistic measures. Megan is the Associate Director of Development for the Heart and Vascular Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Formerly, Megan served as Director of Development at Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna. She has over 19 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and business development and management. She is a graduate of the Harford and Cecil County Leadership Academy. She graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s College in 2001 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice.

Megan lives in Pleasant Hills, MD with her husband Jordan, their two daughters, mother-in-law, Sharon and their labradoodle, Jobin.

Tara Michels
Secretary

img_3388.jpegTara Michels is a Digital Marketing Director at GameDay Vodka, a young brand that is looking to grow recognition in the spirits category. Tara has almost 10 years of experience in digital marketing and is extremely passionate about data-driven marketing. She graduated from Towson University and has been involved with a numerous of non-profits throughout her career including Habitat for Humanity, Believe in Tomorrow, Kenya Connect and ORPHANetwork. Tara is excited to join the Ed Lally Foundation board and is looking forward to learning more about mental health while advocating the power of expression. 

Tara lives in Perry Hall, MD with her husband Rob and their new German Indian dog Hank.

Chris Brown

Chris BrownChristopher S. Brown is a lifelong resident of Bel Air.  He attended John Carroll High graduating in 1999, where he played basketball with Executive Director Jordan and Board President Pete.  Chris attended Syracuse University, graduating from the distinguished S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2003.  Chris then returned to Maryland, attending the University of Maryland School of Law, graduating in 2006.  

Since then Chris has worked in the field of insurance defense, mainly focusing on defending Employers and Insurers in Workers’ Compensation cases.  He enjoys sports, especially watching and coaching his sons. Chris lives in Bel Air with his wife and their three sons.

 

Laura Daul

Laura DaulLaura Dahl, a native of Harford and Cecil County, earned her Bachelors of Government and Politics from Widener University in 2005.  Upon her graduation she had the honor of working for the Governor of Maryland.  She went on to pursue and obtain her Masters of Public Administration from Strayer University while working full-time.  Life brought her back to Harford/Cecil County where she worked for Harford County Government and a passion began to grow in her to help others in a new way.  She went back to school, this time to obtain her Masters of Professional Counseling from Liberty University.  She quickly learned that substance use disorder was her passion.  She has had the opportunity and honor to do prevention work within the Harford and Cecil County communities.  She has worked in private practice, women’s recovery houses and treatment facilities to provide counseling services.  She finds herself today in her dream job working at Ashley Addiction Treatment where she leads the Family Services Department helping the whole family heal and recover from substance use disorder.  Laura has an amazing family as she is honored to be called wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, and niece.  The support of her family and friends are so important to her as she could not accomplish all these things without their love and support.

Kimberly Fritzges

image0.jpegKimberly has 12 years of experience in health care and is currently a Registered Nurse of 5 years. She is a mom, wife and board member because she is passionate about the foundations mission, the resources they provide and the support they offer to the community. 

Kim lives in Forest Hill with her husband, Dj, Daughter, Annela, and Cavapoo pup, Nesta.

 
 
Natia Gordon-Howell
unnamed.jpgNatia Gordon-Howell (they/she) is a Certified Health Education Specialist and recent Towson University graduate. While pursuing a B.S. in Health Education and Promotion, Natia’s passions for mental health advocacy and holistic health/wellness merged. Having personally experienced anxiety and depression throughout adolescence and young adulthood, Natia found it necessary to seek additional resources to aid in their healing. Meditation, yoga, therapy, honest dialogue, and connection to community became instrumental tools in the continued process. The Ed Lally Foundation’s mission and vision aligns with Natia’s personal beliefs, and so, Natia is proud to work with and support the organization. 
 
Adam Letschin

20220126_102131.jpgAdam has known Jordan and the Lally family for 25 years during which time, he experienced and witnessed strength, love and laughterWhen he heard the news that Ed Lally succumbed to his life long battle with depression through suicide, it had a profound effect on him and vowed to be there for the entire Lally family through this difficult time. He was moved and inspired by the family’s strength as they went on the offensive against mental health, challenging the status quo of mental health treatment.

Adam was struggling with his own mental health issues and per the suggestion of his beautiful wife, Kim, he reached out and connected with Jordan. This interaction changed the course of his life as he absorbed Jordan’s light and strength and allowed Adam to take control of his own mental health. He began reading and meditating tirelessly and was a sieve to any new and all ideas that would change the course of his mental health.

When the Ed Lally Foundation was born, he accepted the invitation to join the board of directors with the utmost gratitude and appreciation. Adam remains committed to serving this wonderful foundation and work towards combating mental illness through mindfulness and the power of expression!

Adam lives in Bel Air, MD with his wife Kim and their three dogs, Ozzie, Ava and Ziggy.

Justin T. White

elf.jpgJustin T. White, a native of Philadelphia, earned his B.A. in Sociology from Loyola University Maryland in 2009.  Directly after graduating, Justin spent eight years as a Theology teacher at Cristo Rey Jesuit – Baltimore.  Also, during that time he directed the school’s Community Service Program as a component of the Campus Ministry Office.  Since 2017, he has worked at Loyola Blakefield in the areas of campus ministry, community service, diversity, inclusion & equity work, enrollment, as well as teaching Theology and Psychology.  Racial equity and its intersection with education, spirituality, and mental health are areas of great personal and professional interest.  In his free time, Justin enjoys fellowship with family and friends, Marvel movies, kayaking and tubing.  He has the hopes of graduating from Loyola University in Maryland, once again, with a Masters in School Counseling in May of 2022.

 

ELF Advisory Board

 

Emily Batten

0dc9bde4-4a33-46be-acaf-c7bd35797b13.jpegEmily Batten works full time as a school psychologist for Harford County Public Schools.  She is truly the product of the public school system, being the daughter, niece, and granddaughter of public-school educators and attending Howard County Public Schools for kindergarten through high school.  Emily went on to earn her bachelor's degree from James Madison University, and her master's and Educational Specialist degrees from the University of Delaware.  Emily returned to her home state of Maryland to complete a yearlong internship with Anne Arundel County Public Schools and then began her full-time employment with Harford County Public Schools in August 2009.  Emily has had the privilege of working with students ages 5-21 throughout her career but remains the most passionate about the adolescent developmental period.  The messiness of self-discovery and the opportunity for blossoming that she gets to witness, and sometimes assist with, as young adults find themselves as human beings in the world is what keeps her coming to work every day. Though her role as a school psychologist is often variable, she strives to work through a mental health lens in all she does.  Outside of her professional life she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons at home in Bel Air reading, playing outside, hiking, running, relaxing on the beach, and traveling… to spend more time doing these same things with friends and family across the country!

Brian Boehm

img_0198_copy.jpgBrian Boehm has been professionally designing for about 20 years creating a wide range of graphic design projects from logos to award-winning books and magazines. He graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor’s in Clinical Psychology initially pursuing a career in counseling but then fell in love with the creative expression of graphic design and shifted to that while attending Loyola for his Masters in Psychology. He experienced a major depressive episode in 2015 which started a big shift in how he prioritized his own mental health and reignited his desire to help others with their own struggles. It was after the loss of Jordan’s dad, Ed, that he started sharing his story with Jordan and discovered a profound connection to a path into meditation. It has been this practice, becoming a witness to his thoughts, separating himself from the automatic stories in his head, and practicing self-compassion that has helped him with his ongoing struggles with depression and anxiety. Recently, he has been putting more time into his first love, illustration, realizing how meditative and therapeutic art is for him, and sharing his creations on Instagram (@briericidesign). He also streams his illustrative process on Twitch (twitch.tv/Mantlebeard) where he also talks about all things mental health, meditation, and self-care. At least he tries to. Mostly, he talks about cartoons. He lives in Bel Air with his wife Kellie, their 2 children...and a handful of lizards.

Rev. Lisa Bryson

lisas_head_shot_-_ed_lally_foundation.jpgLisa is the Founder and Executive Director of Praising Through Recovery a non-profit organization which umbrellas the Trinity Recovery House for Men & Covered Bridge Recovery House for Women. She is an ordained minister, businesswoman, mentor, international missionary, and an active partner of the Bridgeway Community Church where she leads the Praising Through Recovery Meeting of Support, Lisa has dedicated her life to serving others while advocating and educating on the topics of caring for stigmatized and marginalized populations, restoration, deliverance, forgiveness, grace, wholeness, and how to overcome and persevere when everything in you wants to throw in the towel. Lisa’s schooling has extended into the fields of Human Services Counseling and Certified Substance Abuse Counseling. She has worked in the clinical & mental health fields of addiction for over 15 years and has completed over 20 years of coursework in the fields of trauma, addiction & recovery. With over 17 years of administrative & management experience she now dedicates her life to doing the will of God by serving others. Working in local communities and traveling the world as addiction & trauma are universal concerns, Lisa hopes to share her story, her mission, and her deliverance with all humankind while educating professional & faith-based communities on the importance of inclusion for people like her.  Living on purpose with purpose is a given for her as much help is needed with those who are brokenhearted and feel they have no hope. Not forgetting where she comes from, her life is an open book as she leads by example humbly yet brilliantly displaying the light that led her out of darkness. 

While Lisa has many quotes that she relies on, the one that touches her most is “Go as far as you can and then one step further.” Father Joseph Martin

Jesse Fairchild

Jesse FairchildJesse Fairchild graduated from Loyola University in Maryland in 2006 with an MS in Clinical Psychology. She earned her license as an LCPC in 2008 and as an LCPC Approved Supervisor in 2012. She was certified as a Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional by the International Association of Trauma Professionals in 2020.

In, 2011 Jesse established Bodhi, a mental health counseling private practice in rural Cecil County, Maryland, with the vision of empowering people on their journey of self-discovery and mental wellness. Bodhi focuses on providing compassionate, knowledgeable, and efficient services to those who seek to awaken to their inner world. Bodhi has grown from a practice of one clinician to a practice with 20 clinicians supported by a team of admin staff and a thriving supervision program for graduate students

Andre Toney

image0-3.jpegAndre Toney plays percussion and sings vocals for Big Infinite.  He is QPR Gatekeeper Instructor Certified, Mental Health First-Aid Certified, and has worked as an elementary school behavior coach.  He has been involved with the Ed Lally Foundation since it’s inception and appreciates the opportunities it offers to reach out and help in the community.  

Andre lives in Pasadena, Maryland with his partner Natalie, their 5 children, a dog, and soon to add a cat (it’s a zoo).

 

 

Funders and Partners

 

Thank you to all those who partner and fund our work.  We could not do it without your support - we appreciate you!

 

Funders

 

  • Cultural Arts Board
  • Jones Junction

 

Partners

 

  • Bodhi Counseling
  • Boys & Girls Club of Harford & Cecil County
  • Community Connecting Us
  • Harford County Mental Health Agency
  • Hopkins Farm Brewery
  • Love Evolution Studio
  • The Center for Trauma, Stress & Anxiety
  • Salt Works Spa