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Yellow Ribbon Committee sets meetings, aide from Sen. Reid’s office to attend

by Merrie Leininger

With two weeks left until the Yellow Ribbon Project becomes a reality in Douglas County, the group that put it together met to do last minute organization.

Jodi Wass, Carson Valley Middle School counselor, said she wanted to thank everyone who had donated money and everyone who had sat on the committee for making the project possible.

“If it wasn’t for this committee, this wouldn’t have happened,” Wass said.

St. Gall Catholic Church donated $100, Carson Valley United Methodist Church donated $50, Coventry Cross donated $100, Christ Presbyterian donated $50 and Best Western of Minden donated the rooms for the speakers, Dar and Dale Emme.

The Emmes will speak nine times over three days in the Carson Valley and Stateline schools to students and community members.

The Emmes started the Light for Life Foundation after their son committed suicide. Cindy and Larry Marchant of Gardnerville got an article about the project from their therapist in the days following their son, Eric’s, death in July.

The students will be given Yellow Ribbon cards at the assemblies. On one side of the card it has instructions what to do if they have suicidal thoughts. The other side has instructions what to do if a student hands you their card. Community leaders and health care professionals will be at all the meetings in order to give the students someone to go and to let them know who those people are.

At the Feb. 9 evening meeting at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School, in which all community members are invited, an additional speaker from Sen. Harry Reid’s office will speak about work being done nationally to stop suicide, Cindy Marchant said.

“We tried to get Sen. Reid, but I guess he’s busy,” she said with a smile.

Yellow ribbons hung throughout the community in the next couple of weeks will be hung to draw attention to the project and the meetings. Wass said the 20/30 club has volunteered to help hang up the ribbons that Marchant made.

The Nevada state suicide quilt will also be on display at all the assemblies. The quilt has squares in memory of Nevada residents that took their own lives. One of the squares represents Harry Reid’s father.

Parents have been notified of all the meetings through fliers sent out with the Peechees in the elementary schools and through the report cards or through mailings for the secondary students’ families.

Parents are encouraged to attend any of the night meetings. Kingsbury Middle School encourages parents to attend the daytime assembly with their children.

Natural helpers, who are student-counselors at the secondary schools, are being trained with how to intervene when one of their peers is in trouble.

The natural helpers at Douglas High School are giving suicide prevention assemblies to the students there in lieu of a speech by the Emmes, said DHS counselor Dori Draper.

Anyone who wants more information can call Jodi Wass at CVMS or look up the Emmes’ Web site at http://www.yellowribbon.org.

The group is still looking for donations to help pay for the Emme’s visit. The estimated total cost for the program is about $2,500. The group hopes to get more than that so they can continue the program every year.

A numbered account has been set up to help pay for the program at the Greater Nevada Credit Union.

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Carson Valley Middle School – 12:29 p.m.-1:16 p.m.

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School – 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. This meeting is open to the public.

Wednesday, Feb. 10

Kingsbury Middle School – 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Whittell High School – 12:50 p.m.-1:50 p.m.

Whittell High School – 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Open to the public.

Thursday, Feb. 11

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School – 9:10 a.m.-9:57 a.m.

10:03 a.m.-10:51 a.m.

1:15 p.m.-2:05 p.m.

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