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Yellow Ribbon Project needs funds to bring speakers here

by Merrie Leininger

The Yellow Ribbon Project is going full-force now, but the organizational committee still needs money to cover the costs of bringing two suicide-prevention speakers to Douglas County.

The speakers, Dar and Dale Emme, of Colorado, lost their son to suicide and now travel the country speaking out against the national epidemic that took their son.

Nevada has the highest teen-age suicide rate, and a small group of health and education professionals and clergy hope to try to prevent more in this part of the state.

The Emmes’ speech is only one part of the program, though. At the meetings, Yellow Ribbon cards will be handed out that say, “This ribbon is a lifeline!” and instructions for what someone should do if they are feeling suicidal.

On the other side, the card says, “This card is a cry for help!” with instructions of what to do.

Members of the committee and other members of the community will be at all the meetings and introduced as people students should go to during a crisis. The Emmes say it is not unusual for students to turn in their cards that week or even that day.

Members of the Yellow Ribbon committee will be tying yellow ribbons around cars, poles and on businesses the week of the Emmes’ visit to draw attention to the cause. A piece of the national suicide quilt will also be on display at all the Emmes’ speeches.

The group announced at Thursday’s meeting it still needs about $500 to cover the cost of plane tickets, food, a rental car and the Emmes’ fee.

Donations of $250 have been received from Kiwanis Club; $100 from Coventry Cross Episcopal Church; and $50 from Christ Presbyterian Church.

The rest of the more than $1,000 in costs was covered by the Eric Marchant memorial fund. Eric was a Carson Valley Middle School 7th grader who committed suicide last summer. His parents, Cindy and Larry Marchant, have been instrumental in starting the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The Emmes will be in Douglas County for three days.

On Feb. 9, the couple will speak to students twice at Carson Valley Middle School, at 12:29 p.m. and 1:19 p.m.; and again in the evening for community members and parents at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School at 7 p.m.

Community members are encouraged to come so they will know what to do if someone hands them a yellow ribbon card.

On Feb. 10, the Emmes will speak at Kingsbury Middle School for students at 10:30 a.m. and at Whittell High School at 12:50 p.m.; then again at 7 p.m. at Whittell for parents and community.

On Feb. 11, they will be at Pau-Wa-Lu all day and speak three times: 9:10 a.m., 10:03 a.m. and 1:15 a.m.

The next Yellow Ribbon organizational meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Carson Valley Middle School library.

For information, contact CVMS counselor Jodi Wass at 782-2265.

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