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Jack Strong-Mental Health/Teen Suicide Prevention

$43,502 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 518 people in 3 months
Our beloved Jack suffered from depression and took his own life at age 15. Funds will go towards the creation and maintenance of a non-profit organization in his name by his brother, John, and his parents, Rick and Jeanine. 

"Jack Strong" will provide a support net of peers and raise awareness for teen mental health through the advocacy of professional athletes, speakers, and counselors. 

Jack was a enthusiastic lacrosse goalie of over ten years. If you know anything about lacrosse, it's that being a goalie takes an unbelievable amount of strength. Jack's altruism, empathy, and strength were evident in everything he did. 

We cannot allow the bullying, both from adults and kids, to go on any longer. We must be there for each other and end the stigma around mental health and teen suicide together. 

Together we are #JACKSTRONG
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JackStrong family & friends, a BIG THANK YOU to all who have supported the JackStrong team efforts over the past couple of weeks. Tuesday the 14th was three months since Jack left us, but as we have learned over those three months Jack touched so many lives, we are truly lucky and blessed to have had Jack in our lives. May 5th, our family and the Jackstrong team hosted a couple hundred family & friends in Village Greens Park honoring and celebrating Jack’s life. The afternoon started off with a “doggie walk” around the park, we listen to live music (thank you Rich & Cody), Coach Jeff Rosendahl, several of Jack’s friends and myself shared stories about Jack, the afternoon concluded with a blessing of the tree and memorial bench by Father Eric from Church of the Risen Christ, we than released a trinity of one, plus three white doves. It was an incredible afternoon, please see the Channel 7 News Story below, thank you Lance Hernandez! This was a historic year for mental health funding in Colorado, with the legislature funding $30 million in mental health funding, primarily to support teen mental health. (see the news clip below, my dad testified on one of the bills that passed).
Another big thank you to the CCSD Middle School Shakespeare Festival which raised funds for JackStrong on May 11th at Sky Vista Middle School. Jack always loved the Shakespeare club and we are grateful for your generosity and support.

Here are more events on the horizon:

- A summer lacrosse team, Jackstrong, is forming to play in the Denver Lacrosse High School summer league and a tournament or two, please contact me if you are interested in having some fun playing lacrosse this summer- experience or not-come on out. I will coach it along with Aidan Allis.

- Sunday May 19 at Vineyard Vines in the Cherry Creek Shops (not the mall) at 2900 E. 2nd Ave. Rob Gormley has organized selling some custom JackStrong t-shirts. You will get 20% off your total sale and can choose to donate either 10% or 20% to Jackstrong. The first 50 people will get free shirts! All customers get free Jackstrong wristbands and there will be plenty of smaller sizes for the kiddos.
-Over 300 people viewed American Tragedy: Love Is Not Enough. Because of the Highlands Ranch shooting, people have reached out the producers hoping to view the movie with friends and start a discussion. The producers are not allowed to rent or sell the movie for the film to be considered at film festivals, selective screenings of a pre-release can be arranged. The producers have put a pre-release version here: Pre-release version American Tragedy. They are charging $100.00 so it can be termed “selective screening.” The producers have agreed to attend selective screenings to help facilitate and field questions. Please contact Lisa Sabey (contact.parents.to.parents@gmail.com), Laurie Freeman (tljcfreeman@live.com) and Lisa Neison (lisa.neison@janushenderson.com). We want these messages out and people talking about them: Parents need help in parenting for mental wellness. Parents are the most influential people in a child's life, let's empower them. Schools need to start teaching mental wellness skills as early as possible.

-We are also in the early planning stages to create a series of teen to teen suicide prevention Public Service and Social Media Announcements/Campaign (thank you Janicek Media) that will launch early this fall.
Mental health legislature video: https://denver.cbslocal.com/2019/05/10/mental-health-legislation-state-capitol-children-shooting/

Jack’s celebration of life video: https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/family-friends-honor-teen-who-took-his-life-start-conversation-about-mental-health-suicide?fbclid=IwAR3LZToZxGA2ZKk9PrBoaACSyIL2W0H5YfmjOTeaxeaYS6yr1nnZdAYLfO0
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Please join us as we celebrate Jack's life on May 5, 2019 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Village Greens Park Pavilions (across the street from Cherry Creek High School). We will celebrate Jack's life with live music, a doggie "dash" (bring your dog, but must be on a leash) and a tree & bench dedication. Water & snacks will be provided, plus we will be selling Jackstrong17 t-shirts. We hope you can join us!
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Please join us as we celebrate Jack's life on May 5, 2019 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
at Village Greens Park Pavilions (across the street from Cherry Creek High School). We will celebrate Jack's life with live music, a doggie "dash" (bring your dog, but must be on a leash) and a tree & bench dedication. Water & snacks will be provided, plus we will be selling Jackstrong17 t-shirts. We hope you can join us!
+ Read More
Hello friends, it has been a couple of weeks since we have provided an update because a lot has been going on with the JACKSTRONG team. Both Cherry Creek High School and Smoky Hill High School had student walkouts on April 5th in support of teen suicide prevention and anti-bullying in memory of Jack. Hundreds of students participated and there was widespread media coverage on all the Denver television stations and in the Denver Post.
That same week my mom posted a public Facebook “Call to Action” and ended up being interviewed about how bullying may have contributed to Jack’s passing by the Denver Post and it went viral, Washington Post, CNN, New York Post and television stations across the country. Thank you Mom!
My Dad and other family have been busy working with several organizations, clinicians, professional athletes and others to coordinate efforts around teen suicide prevention and anti-bullying. On April 8th about 40 people met at the Anschutz Medical Center, hosted by the Johnson Depression Center, to begin discussions about convening a state-wide task force.
The Colorado Mammoth hosted the Padilla family and friends Friday, April 12 in honoring Jack before the game (see the video). Mayor Hancock spoke about the great work of the Jackstrong team, encouraged fans to support teen suicide prevention through the Jackstrong GoFundMe site. The announcer spoke eloquently about Jack, as his picture was shown on the JumboTron. I dropped the ball in an honorary face-off between the Team Captains in memory of Jack. Several Mammoth players have coached Jack over the years so that made it very special, thank you Mammoth for your support of teen suicide prevention and honoring my brother Jack. It was fantastic to see all the support and love for my brother.
April 14th was another incredible day for teen suicide prevention awareness; two Arapahoe High School students coordinated a walk called, “Out of the Darkness”, to bring awareness to teen suicide prevention and to honor those that have died by suicide. The Jackstrong team was there in full force, participating with over 600 other folks in support of the event.
April has been a busy month for the Jackstrong team, following the walk several Jackstrong team members and others met on April 18th, before the premiere of “American Tragedy: Love is Not Enough” a feature length documentary film about our country's crisis in mental health, mental illness, and suicide. Over 300 people watched the documentary; it will be shown again in Denver in late August, before moving to other cities across the country. It is a powerful movie about the mental health crisis this country is facing , it was followed by an engaging panel discussion with families impacted by suicide, and professionals working in the field.
There are more events on the horizon:
 May 5th, our family and the Jackstrong team with host a tree and bench dedication to Jack in Village Greens Park from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to honor and celebrate Jack’s life. Live music and lawn games will be provided and we will be selling JackStrong t-shirts with all proceeds going back towards JackStrong and mental wellness for $25.

 A summer lacrosse team, Jackstrong, is forming to play in the Denver Lacrosse High School summer league and a tournament or two, please contact me if you are interested in having some fun playing lacrosse this summer- experience or not-come on out. I will coach it along with Aidan Allis.

 1st CCSD Middle School Shakespeare Festival: May 11th, Sky Vista Middle
School, 8:30a.m. – 1:30 p.m. All proceeds to support Jackstrong. Please support this worthy cause and help bring awareness to teen suicide prevention. Jack participated in, and loved Shakespeare club, so the schools decided to donate any funds they make to Jack Strong at the end of the event.

 Sunday May 19 at Vineyard Vines in the Cherry Creek Shops (not the mall) at 2900 E. 2nd Ave. Rob Gormley has organized selling some custom JackStrong t-shirts. You will get 20% off your total sale, and can choose to donate either 10% or 20% to Jackstrong. The first 50 people will get free shirts! All customers get free Jackstrong wristbands and there will be plenty of smaller sizes for the kiddos.

In addition to the Mammoth support, the community support of teen suicide prevention and anti-bullying blossomed both in the media and through the efforts of the Jackstrong team. I wish I could give a giant hug to each and every one of you for your generosity, kindness, and love.
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