Swizzy’s Cause

inspiring positive change

jessica sweitzer memorial fund

In January of 2014, Jessica Sweitzer lost her fight with Bipolar Disorder, a mental illness. Jessica’s family and friends established a memorial fund in her honor with the goal of helping other people with mental illness lead a productive and healthy life.

The Jessica Sweitzer Memorial Fund supports a program called Swizzy’s Cause – A Quality of Life for Individuals with Mental Illness. Swizzy’s cause officially began in 2016 and continues through a collaborative partnership with the YMCA of the Twin Tiers and the Rehabilitation Center.

Why Swizzy’s cause?

People who suffer from bipolar and other mental illnesses struggle every day to fight the disease and its common side effects. It is a challenge to find a balance between the state of depression and a manic state. However, when balance is found, people can lead normal and productive lives. The fact is there are not enough needed resources or a coordination of the available resources in our community to give these people a chance. This is what Swizzy’s Cause addresses.

BALANCE: Much research has proven that a balance of mind, body and spirit leads to healthy living. This is especially true and necessary for people with bipolar and other mental illnesses. Support services are limited in our community. Patients with bipolar may see a psychiatrist to get a prescription for necessary medication (usually every 6-8 weeks for about 15 minutes), see a counselor for talk therapy support (once every 2-3 weeks), and some may attend a support group when available. That may be the extent of the support services they receive – then they are left on their own to fight a disorder that is unpredictable and mentally painful. Swizzy’s Cause supports providing services in an environment that is welcoming and supportive.

why the ymca?

QUALITY OF LIFE: The YMCA is an ideal place to provide these much needed services in a non-threatening manner and to add the balance of body, mind, and spirit through exercise, support groups, and volunteer opportunities. Swizzy’s Cause provides support for a care coordinator on staff at the Y who collaborates with the available service providers (psychiatrists, counselors, mental health services) and provide a sense of purpose in the patient’s everyday life through programs and services. The fund provides financial assistance to individuals who are unable to afford Y membership. In a nutshell, people are at their best when they are healthy and have purpose. The program also educates the community about the effects of mental illness and strategies to make it easier for those with mental illness.

Your support is needed:

  • Friends and Family of Jessica have already made contributions to the fund, however, more funds are needed to continue the program and sustain it over the long run.
  • All money raised will go directly into the Jessica Sweitzer Memorial Fund to be used for supporting services mentioned above.


A special thank you to everyone who participated this year. Pictures from the event can be found on our FB page by clicking HERE.


Contact the Mission Advancement Director at (716) 701-1376.


Contact the Mission Advancement Director at (716) 701-1376.