Article Contributed by
Office of the Chautauqua County Executive
The Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention was recently presented a check for $4,500 from Carri Raynor, organizer of the Raynor Memorial Golf Tournament, to the Alliance’s fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
The sixth annual golf tournament was held on September 8 at Maplehurst Country Club in honor of the memory of Danny Raynor, who lost his life to suicide in 2007. The tournament brings friends, family, and others in the community together to not only remember Danny but to remember other loved ones lost to suicide.
Over $85,000 has been raised since the tournament’s first year in 2013.
All of the funds raised have been donated towards the fight against suicide in the Western New York Region. The tournament is organized by Carri Raynor who was Danny’s wife.
“Over the last 10 years I have researched suicide and I believe it is my mission in life to bring awareness to the community and to help those struggling with the loss of a loved one,” said Raynor. “When I lost my husband, there were no support groups locally so I had to find what I was looking for on the internet, which was very difficult for me. I had to learn how to juggle taking care of the entire household, yard work, raising an 18 month old alone, and working full time. In my research, I wanted to understand things like ‘What were the signs on suicide?’ and
‘What could have been done to prevent this from happening?’ This is when I realized I could do something to spread awareness about suicide and give back to the community.”
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.
In 2015, a non–endowed fund was established at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for the Alliance to serve as a depository for local donations that support local suicide prevention and awareness programs.
Over the past several years, the Alliance and partner agencies have worked together to train thousands of local community members from all walks of life in suicide prevention and awareness with the help of the fund as well as funds through Chautauqua Tapestry and the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene.
“As an Alliance, we provide trainings in the community to help individuals recognize warning signs of suicide and what to do if you suspect a loved one or a stranger is thinking of taking their own life,” said Victoria Patti, Coordinator of the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention. “It is so important that we talk about these concerns and don’t brush them aside and hope they go away. We need to create a community culture in which we feel comfortable in talking about mental health openly and honestly in order to receive the support and resources necessary to work towards wellness. The Alliance is so thankful for these and so many other community groups who put their time, hearts, and souls, into mental health and suicide awareness. We couldn’t do this work without their ongoing support; we are very thankful for their donations.”
For more information about 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 email@example.com.