Rocky grads to get the word out about suicide at tonight's game


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Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2013, 7:27 pm
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By Jeff Wendland, wendland@qconline.com
Abbie Metz and some of her fellow Rock Island High School graduates are hoping to help those caught up in the pain associated with suicide.

The 2000 Rock Island High School graduate said she has seen "six or seven" former Rocks who graduated between 1999 and 2002 take their own lives in the past seven years.

"It's hard on everyone," Metz said, "I know, I've gone through it with too many friends recently. What we tend to forget is the pain and suffering goes away for the person who commits the suicide, but it lives on forever for the loved ones and friends they leave behind.

"The most recent suicide got me thinking how this is the wrong way for us to get to see each other for the first time in many cases since our high school graduation. We need to use our classmates as a crutch and a support system. That's when I created a page on Facebook for Rocky alumni. It started with 300 of us and over the last two weeks since we started to get the word out more, we've had 1,314 new people who have signed onto the page."

Metz and fellow Rocky grad Kim Wendland decided getting the word out to the community was just as important. They couldn't think of a better way to do that than at tonight's Western Big 6 Conference boys' game between the Rocks and crosstown rival Alleman at The Rock Garden.

The pair — along with some support from other Rocky alums, the RIHS Student Council and the Letterman's Club — will be getting the word out at the game by selling shirts ($15 for long sleeve and $12 for short sleeve) and hopefully wristbands. Sales will take place at both ticket areas with the proceeds being split between The MJL Foundation, a depression awareness and suicide prevention and support group; the Justin Sharp Foundation; and the family of Jordan Schmidt, the Alleman student who passed away last week.

"We just want to make everyone more aware of suicide and show them the avenues to take before it's too late," Metz said. "Suicide is not something anyone can prepare for. But if we can educate more people to see the signs not only for themselves but for someone around them, then we can slow down this scary trend."


















 



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  Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river.
1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.




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