Story by Lindsey Chester, photos by Karl Fisher
Cary, NC- A year ago, Victoria Bennis was planning her first save a Life Walk. She and her family were recovering from a personal tragedy. Her brother John, a 16 year old Green Hope student had taken his life the previous November. When a second Green Hope boy committed suicide that May, she knew she had to do something to stop what she perceived was becoming an epidemic.
She and her friend MaryAnn Monaco, founded the Save A Life organization to help troubled teens reach out for help if they are feeling depressed or suicidal.
“SAVE A LIFE was formed in order to raise awareness about the problem of teen suicide, to educate the community, and to remove barriers that separate at-risk teens from help.”
To raise money, last September Victoria and MaryAnn held the first Save A Life walk based at Green Hope High School. With help from the PTSA and the football team, the event was a huge success. The 5K event was attended by over 300 participants and raised over $12,000.
The money raised was put to immediate use. About 15 staffers were trained in suicide prevention in a program called Yellow Ribbon. They are taught to make presentations to willing organizations and train others to watch for the signs of possible suicidal tendencies. They also hand out ‘Yellow Ribbon” cards to teens. They have made over ten presentation during the past year.
Yellow Ribbon Cards
The cards are held in possession by kids. When they feel they may be having depressing or suicidal thoughts, they are to hand these cards to trusted adults. The cards read:
This Year’s Save A Life 5K
Will be held Sunday October 9, at Wake Med Soccer Park. The move in date and time was made to help accommodate what Victoria believes will be an increase in participants. Wake Med also offers and official 5K course. She is reaching out to other high schools to participate, and hopes to take a meeting with Superintendent Tony Tata to gain the support of WCPSS. The goals are to eventually grow this event and their work throughout Wake County and beyond.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Onsite registration begins at noon
Race starts at 2pm
201 Soccer Park Drive, Cary, NC
Fee: $25 includes a T Shirt
Online registration Closes Saturday, October 01, 2011