Jack Strong-Mental Health/Teen Suicide Prevention

$43,699 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 520 people in 5 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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Hello friends, since our last update the Jackstrong summer lacrosse team continues to go undefeated and remains in first place. We have two games and the playoffs ahead of us. Our next game is July 15th, the final game is July 22nd at 5:15 p.m., Rosamond Park, field 4, than the playoffs on July 29th at Rosamond.

Jackstrong Summer Rally/Lacrosse Event!!
Monday, July 15
Rosamond Park, Field 2
6:00 pm Rally
7 pm Jackstrong lax game

• Meet Dymonte Thomas, Denver Bronco, Safety #35!

• Wear your Jackstrong t-shirt to show your support for efforts to stop teen suicide & bullying!

• Cheer the Jackstrong lax team to victory!

The Courage Classic is fast approaching with me and my dad riding through the beautiful Colorado Rockies on July 20 & 21, we will be pedaling 121 miles over two days for Children’s Hospital. What makes it even more special is that this will be our first Courage Classic and we are riding the very first team in the Courage Classic’s 30 year history to support pediatric mental health — the Psyched to Climb team! Please see our personal pages to learn more about our efforts. Together we are JackStrong!!!!

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Go fund me update 6/27/2019

Hello friends, it has been about a month since our last update but that doesn’t mean the team has not been busy. Jackstrong continues to receive widespread media coverage on all the Denver television stations and in the Denver Post, because of the great work the team is doing in collaboration with many others to address this teen suicide epidemic. We would like to remind folks how serious this problem is, the numbers in a nutshell:
• Nearly 1 of every 5 of high school students report being bullied at school
• In Colorado, suicide is the leading cause of death among children and adolescents ages 10-24
• Teen suicide has risen over 400% the past several years.
• 7% of Colorado high school students have attempted suicide
• 13% of Colorado high school students have a plan to die by suicide
• 17% of Colorado high school students have seriously considered suicide
• Colorado ranks 10th in the nation for suicide deaths across all age groups

These statistics are terrifying, there are moments in time when we must be
moved to action, NOW is the time we stand up and say it is OK to not be OK! It is time to destigmatize mental health and treat it like any other disease. Suicide should not be an option – Treatment should be!!
Several updates since we last spoke:
- A summer lacrosse team, Jackstrong, AKA Angel Jack, is playing in the Denver Lacrosse High School summer league. I am coaching a group of kids that have come out in support of Jack and his love of lacrosse, I have to share that my dad and I were so happy to see the number of kids that have come out to play on the team. It was so large we had to split some off to another team. To date we have played two games resulting in commanding victories, it had been a blast as the guys have had the opportunity to play out of their normal positions, best part, we are in first place. If you want to play, please contact me as soon as possible, we have three games left and the play-offs, plus a pretty good pizza party at the end of the season.

- Sunday May 19th at Vineyard Vines Clothing organized a fundraiser for JackStrong with the customers able to choose to donate either 10% or 20% of their purchase to Jackstrong. Free Jackstrong anti-cyber bullying t-shirts were given out to the first 50 customers. THANK YOU, VINEYARD VINES!

-We have begun filming a series of teen to teen suicide prevention Public Service Announcements that will be filmed over the summer and we will launch a Social Media Campaign this September on the steps of the State Capital (thank you Janicek Media). As we determine the date, we will get you that information so you can join in the announcement.
- June 22nd my dad, Rick, joined Vance Johnson (former Denver Bronco), as special guests of Mental Health Colorado Annual Unmasked event to share their stories with a crowd of over 200 quests. Thank you, Mental Health Colorado, Angela and John Schmidt, for hosting the event in your beautiful home.
- On a not so positive note, the Greenwood Village Police Department conducted an inquiry into the allegations of bullying that may have contributed to Jack dying by suicide, they found no criminal culpability. We respect the inquiry by the Police Department, but we question the thoroughness of the investigation and if the current anti-bullying statues go far enough in holding persons accountable?
- The Cherry Creek School District has still not conducted their investigation, as promised to our family in March of this year, we await the beginning and results of their investigation.
Here are more events on the horizon:
- My dad has been working with several outstanding volunteers in collaboration with mental health agencies, therapist, lawyers, lawmakers and others to begin developing a four-point strategy to help address this issue. To date they have identified four areas of focus, they have held two separate focus groups both with teens and adults to get their input, those areas include the following:
o Teen to Teen Mental Health Summit
o Teen Mental Health Affiliation Program
o In-School Educational Teen Suicide Prevention Programming
o Mobile Mental Health Van

- We have several organizations and volunteers who have said they want to help, how about you? Please let us know if you would like to join this campaign, as we are meeting in mid-July to begin drafting what this will look like in a bit more detail with timelines over the next 12 – 24 months.

- Also, my dad is working with several organizations, lawmakers, lawyers and others to begin reviewing legislation so that we can determine how the system failed Jack and others like him, so that next January we can propose “Jack’s Law”, for example it may mean propose changing the current law on bullying and accountability?

- We are also working on a potential collaboration with the HOPE SQUAD, recently featured on NBC national news, to come out to Denver on September 30th to meet with interested stakeholders, hope you can join us.
Remember, you don’t have to live in Colorado to be involved. Please email: thejackstrongfoundation@gmail.com. Thank You!
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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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Raised by 520 people in 5 months
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Kornfeld Family
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Cherry Creek Middle Schools Shakespeare Festival
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