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It Starts with Connection

LINKED4LIFE, is a partnered movement founded by Cheryl Antoncic, co-owner of Bear’s Smokehouse LLC and supported by the Bear’s Foundation.  The movement was established in August 2020 when the widespread impact of COVID on individual’s mental health became indisputable.  As more and more stories of how people were suffering from such things as isolation, financial worry, and limited access to helpful resources unfolded, Cheryl and her team at Bear’s Smokehouse knew it was more important than ever to show others that they are never alone, and to bring hope to those who need it most by connecting, listening and sharing our experiences.  

On October 10, 2020 in celebration of World Mental Health Day, LINKED4LIFE along with many partners including RiseUP for Arts broke a Guinness World Record by linking together 13,808 carabiners at Dunkin Stadium in Hartford, CT.  This achievement was a visual representation that when we “link up” with others we are stronger both physically and mentally, and set in motion the mission of LINKED4LIFE “To demonstrate the power of human connection and spread hope to those who need it most while breaking the stigma of on the connection between mental and physical health conversations.”



Capitol Ave Mural Final_Jillian Goeler.jpeg


Bear’s Foundation is a non-profit  501(c)(3) organization founded in 2020 by Bear’s Smokehouse LLC.  The Foundation seeks to further the restaurant group’s mission of serving the communities in which they are located and bring awareness to important issues affecting society on local and national levels.  Such issues include mental health, animal welfare, and conservation of natural resources and protection of wildlife.


RISEUP FOR ARTS is a non-profit aimed at creating public art that is inclusive and accessible for anyone.  RiseUP creates public art through public art consulting and curating, donations, grants, and community goodwill. RiseUP supports artists, cities, other nonprofits, companies, and local community members in making their public art projects come to life.  The organization helps create the vision and manages the entire process to beautify communities.

ABOUT: What We Do


The mission of LINKED4LIFE is to demonstrate the power of human connection and spread hope to those who need it most while breaking the stigma of mental health conversations.  Our team works toward this mission through Nationwide initiatives that bring together people and resources to BREAK the STIGMA and bring awareness to connection of physical and mental health. 



The carabiner is a visual reminder that we’re linked together, and it’s OK to ask for help.


A Public Art Tour across all 50-states that is bringing joy, breaking stigma, and connecting resources in local communities across the country.



A Linked 4 Life initiative that brings do-it yourself art kits to individuals that can benefit from the healing power of art.

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