Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene
Victoria Patti, Coordinator for the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention, representing the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Lauren Orlowski, Development Manager of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation were invited to Chautauqua Lake Central School on March 7th to accept checks from the Girls Basketball Program.
“The Varsity Girls Basketball team was able to present the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation each with a check of $658.49,” said Bill L. Persons, Basketball Coach, Chautauqua Lake Central School. “Participating in these charity games really has allowed for our entire program (Modified, JV, and Varsity) and the community as a whole to come together to raise awareness and contribute to many great causes over the years. It is events like these that continue to push and teach our athletes the other little things in life that mean so much later on.”
The team hosted a game playing Maple Grove Junior/Senior High School on January 17. This was the third consecutive year that the two teams played a contest for charity. This year, the Maple Grove Red Dragons and the Chautauqua Lake Thunderbirds joined forces to “Team Up Together for a Cause” to support and raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The game included a halftime ball-toss, T-shirt sales, a bake sale as well as concessions sales with 100 percent of the profits going to charity. In honor of suicide prevention, the game was a “yellow out,” with fans encouraged to wear yellow.
“We are so appreciative of the support we have received from the Chautauqua Lake Varsity Girls Basketball team and local community,” said Orlowski. “This donation will help us further the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and get one step closer to a cure.”
“It is uplifting to see young people feel so passionately about a cause that affects so many around the world,” said Patti. “Awareness in schools about the signs of depression and suicide is important in a way that helps identify those struggling and gives an empowered voice to those who are in need of reaching out for extra help. The team at Chautauqua Lake has provided a unique way to spread awareness in the community that provided a hopeful message that help can be reached and is available. We are grateful for this partnership and outreach.”
Started in 2012, the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention is a group of agency professionals and community members with the common goal of creating awareness around the issue of suicide. The Alliance supports, organizes, and sponsors numerous events and trainings throughout the county for suicide prevention and awareness. It is dedicated to protecting and promoting life by fostering shared responsibility through increased awareness and community supports while embracing hopefulness and resiliency in the Chautauqua region.
For more information about local suicide prevention efforts through the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention, please search for the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention on Facebook or contact Victoria Patti at (716) 753-4519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.