Patty Duke to speak at Children's Center event

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Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author Patty Duke will be the keynote speaker when mental health clinic The Children's Center holds its annual luncheon April 23.

Duke is renowned for her Oscar-winning portrayal of blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller in the film "The Miracle Worker," as well as her own "The Patty Duke Show" on television in the 1960s. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982 and is widely seen as being the first celebrity to speak out about her own mental illness — through two autobiographies, "Call Me Anna" and "A Brilliant Madness," as well as many speaking engagements.

The Children's Center is a homegrown Vancouver nonprofit agency that provides mental health services for children and their families. It served nearly 1,500 children and families in the 2010-11 fiscal year; nearly all — 95 percent — lived in poverty. Twenty-two percent of the children served were victims of violence and abuse.

Tickets are $50 at The Children's Center. Doors will open for a silent auction at 10:45 a.m. and the luncheon program gets under way at 11:30 a.m. April 23 at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St.

Tickets are not tax-deductible. Gifts for families in need are welcome: canned food, healthful snacks, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

For more information call Kim Hash, 360-699-2244.