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Tyler Clementi's Father to Speak at Gala

CONTACT We Care provides a place for all ages to turn in a crisis.

The following is a press release from Westfield-based Contact We Care:

NBC’s “Rock Center,” The New York Daily News, The New York Times, The Huffington Post  – these are just some of the media outlets that recently have covered the message being delivered by Joe and Jane Clementi, parents of Tyler Clementi and founders of the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

Now Joe Clementi will share that message with a local audience October 25 when he serves as keynote speaker at The 2012 Call of Hope Gala of CONTACT We Care, the suicide prevention and crisis intervention hotline located in Westfield.

“Two years ago, as a college freshman, our son Tyler felt bullied and unsafe and made a decision that we will never be able to undo,” Joe and Jane Clementi recently wrote in The Daily News.  “For the rest of our lives, we are committed to honoring his life by ensuring that nobody else suffers the way he did before he ended his life.”

The parents of Tyler Clementi have been speaking about the adversity younger gay people face, how they often feel vulnerable and unsafe among new and often judgmental peers. They encourage continued “life-saving” discussion of these issues and are committed to helping implement safe and inclusive spaces and resources for both youth and families.

“We are united in calling on parents, students, educators and administrators; faith leaders, and lawmakers to join us in creating accepting social environments right where kids spend the majority of their waking hours: in our schools and online,” they wrote.

CONTACT We Care shares that commitment and provides people of all ages and backgrounds with a place to turn when they are in crisis.  CONTACT serves Central and Northern New Jersey and is a primary responder to calls to the national suicide prevention line (1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE) that originate in New Jersey.  Volunteer listeners at CONTACT answer more than 12,000 calls each year and also interact with people in crisis, particularly teenagers, via texting.

CONTACT will host its annual gala Thursday, October 25, at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains to raise funds for programs and services and to promote awareness about the facts of personal crisis and suicide and the need for volunteer listeners. 

As keynote speaker Joe Clementi will talk about teen suicide and the need to address the growing issue of bullying among young people. 

“Having a parent of Tyler Clementi speaking for us will make a difference in countless lives by helping us spread the word that this is an epidemic that needs to be fought and that organizations like CONTACT We Care can help fight it with sufficient resources.” 

Tickets for the Call of Hope Gala are $150 each and $1,200 for a table of 10.  Sponsorship and ad journal opportunities also are available.  To purchase tickets or for more information about sponsorship and ad journal opportunities, contact Leslie Patrizio at plpatrizio@aol.com or call the CONTACT We Care administrative offices at 908.301. 1899.

About CONTACT We Care

CONTACT We Care is Central and Northern New Jersey’s crisis listening line, receiving more than 12,000 calls per year.  CONTACT brings comfort and hope to people in emotional distress through active, empathetic and nonjudgmental listening. All calls are free, anonymous and confidential.  If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call our hotline at 908-232-2880.  We are affiliated with CONTACT USA, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the American Association of Suicidology.  For general information about CONTACT We Care, call us at 908-301-1899 or visit our website at www.contactwecare.org.

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