BETTSVILLE - No plans for Labor Day weekend? The public is invited to a Party in the Park Saturday at H.P. Eells Park in Bettsville. The all-day event is a benefit for SAVE - Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.
Bettsville Mayor Linda Davis said Park Director Michael Porter approached her in June about conducting a benefit for SAVE at the park.
"We have had suicides right in our community. Last year, we had a senior in high school, a month before graduation, commit suicide. So it's kind of dear to all of us here in Bettsville. That's why we went with suicide prevention."
The beach at H.P. Eells Park in Bettsville is to be open Saturday to swimming.
A graduate counseling student at Heidelberg University, Porter said he had discussed the subject of suicide in his classes. It made him realize few community events are devoted to suicide prevention.
"I was looking for an organization that represents a problem that people seem to not be aware of or not willing to talk about. Suicide is one of those topics that are considered taboo by our society and really should be talked about. People need more knowledge about the topic," Porter said.
Although he has not been directly affected by the suicide of a family member, Porter said he has known people who considered or attempted the act. A representative of SAVE has promised to send literature to distribute at the benefit, he said.
About the group
Founded in 1990, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education is a non-profit organization based in Minnesota. The SAVE mission is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, to reduce stigma and to serve as a resource to those touched by suicide.
SAVE puts out educational brochures and sponsors support groups, programs and fundraisers to promote suicide prevention.
More information is available at www.save.org.
A 5K run/walk is to get things started at 9 a.m. Participants can register 8-8:30 a.m. at the gazebo for a $10 entry fee.
At 1 p.m., a silent auction begins in the Orange Shelter House and is to run until 8 p.m. The auction merchandise includes sports equipment, tickets and memorabilia; gift certificates from area businesses; jewelry; gift baskets; art; electronics; and candles. More items are coming in up to the day of the auction. A complete list can be found at www.facebook.com/H.P.Eells
A clown is to entertain children 1-2 p.m. in a special area with games, prizes and activities. Live music by local musicians is to run from 2-10 p.m. The bands scheduled so far include Transcending the Masses (alternative/pop-punk/ punk), Olympic Lion (indie rock) and Get In The Ark (folk pop). More bands are expected to be added to the lineup.
"I'm hoping the weather stays good," Davis said. "I'm working on getting us a dunk tank, and we've got already a couple volunteers to do the dunk tank in the afternoon. I'm hoping it turns out to be a really good event."
Presale admission is $8 for adults and $3 for kids admission on the day of the event is $10 and $5, respectively. All proceeds will be donated to SAVE.
Call Linda Davis at (419) 986-5980 or Mike Porter at (419) 986-6279 for details.