RHS class raises money for suicide prevention

Ridgefield High School students raised money to prevent suicide, and learned about marketing, in a class project last month.

“It was a quarterly project,” said sports marketing teacher Mike Merati. “It kind of tied together the classroom experience into the real world.”

His two dozen seniors chose to hold a bean bag toss fund raiser — plan it, find sponsors, spread the word, and donate the proceeds to a charity focused on preventing teen suicide, called “Teen Suicide Prevention and Awareness.”

The senior class, when they were juniors, lost one of their peers to suicide.

“I knew we were going to be doing an event and they decided that charity to raise money for,” he said.

“Students contacted different businesses for sponsorships. We called up different pizza places in town to see if they wanted to donate pizza that we can sell….

“Gift cards were donated for the top four places in the tournament.”

“After school on weekends they were going around town looking” for sponsors,” Mr. Merati said.

“It was kind of win-win for everybody.”

Students promoted the event on Twitter and Facebook and “within the school they went on the morning announcements and they started getting awareness for the charity, why they were doing it, what it is, how much it cost to enter.”

When the big day came, after school Nov. 15, they had 164 faculty and students participate.

“There were teacher-teacher teams, there were teacher-student teams,” Mr. Merati said. The objective is simple: “Throw a bean bag into a hole.”

“We could have gotten more… he said,” but at some point they had to stop taking sign-ups so they could put  together the bracket.

“Some people just donated” the day of the event, he said.

The $1,300 raised surpassed the class’s projected returns.

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