Drew’s Foundation Sponsors Mr. Cama-i Man of the Year

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Drew’s Foundation is proud to be the founding sponsor for the Cama-i Festival Mr. Cama-i Man of the Year Award. From the Cama-i website:

In previous years, Mr. Cama-i was a male contestant in a Cultural Pageant. This year that concept was retired and replaced with a recognition award that annually will be chosen through a nomination process. Drew’s Foundation fully supports this effort to acknowledge strong male role models and their efforts within our region. This year’s awards were presented as follows:

Peter Kaiser:

In acknowledgement of participating in several State-wide events including, the Kuskokwim 300, the Norton Sound 450 and the Iditarod Trail Race, Peter Kaiser is hereby awarded this Award of Excellence. By bringing the message of Suicide Prevention and Awareness and Positive Life Choices to a Statewide audience, Pete did bring honor to himself, his family, and our YK-Delta Community.

Mike Williams Jr. :

In acknowledgement of participating in State-wide events including, the Kuskokwim 300,and the Iditarod Trail Race, Mike Williams Jr. is hereby awarded this Award of Excellence. By bringing the message of Suicide Prevention and Awareness and Positive Life Choices to a Statewide audience, Mike did bring honor to himself, his family, and our YK-Delta Community.

Steven Boney:

In acknowledgement of participating in a State-wide event, The Iron Dog Snowmachine Race, Steven Boney, as part of Team 19, is hereby awarded this Award of Excellence. By bringing the message of Suicide Prevention and Awareness with him to a Statewide audience, Steven did bring honor to himself, his family, and our YK-Delta Community.

Arthur “Gux” Laraux”:

In acknowledgement of participating in a State-wide event, The Iron Dog Snowmachine Race, Arthur “Gux” Laraux, as part of Team 19, is hereby awarded this Award of Excellence. By bringing the message of Suicide Prevention and Awareness with him to a Statewide audience, Gux did bring honor to himself, his family, and our YK-Delta Community.

Richie Diehl:

In acknowledgement of participating in State-wide events including, the Kuskokwim 300,and the Iditarod Trail Race, Richie Diehl is hereby awarded this Award of Excellence. By serving as a role model to those in his community and his region, by his dedication to his dream of running in the Iditarod, and after many years finishing his First Iditarod, Richie did bring honor to himself, his family, and our YK-Delta Community.

Mike Williams Sr. :

Mike Williams Sr. is hereby awarded the 2013 Mr. Cama-i Man of the Year award. Mike’s Mushing for Sobriety campaign that has taken him across the Region, the State, and the Nation, has brought great honor to himself, his family, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, and our State of Alaska. Mike has been a role model for many years to many young men across the State. His time, energy, and dedication to healthy life choices, community, and family will always set the mark of what Men should aspire to in their own lives. Thank You Mike Williams Sr.

 

 

 

Press Release – Drew’s Foundation Supports Southwest Alaska Mushers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 14, 2012

Drew’s Foundation today announces support for two Western Alaska mushers in commemorating Alaska Suicide Prevention Week and what would’ve been Drew O’Brien’s 25th birthday.

Pete Kaiser of Bethel and Mike Williams, Jr. of Akiak were awarded a large quantity of Dr. Tim’s high performance dog food in appreciation of their continued support of Drew’s Foundation “Suicide is Never the Answer” campaign. Kaiser and Williams say it’s important to stop suicide and are committed to this important message in their racing endeavors.

Drew’s Foundation believes the two mushers are good examples of what happens when young people make healthy, positive lifestyle choices. Kaiser and Williams train in their hometowns and have become well known in the statewide mushing community by posting exciting Top Ten Iditarod Sled Dog Race finishes early in their racing careers. Kaiser and Williams are signed up to run again in the 2013 Iditarod.

Helping Drew’s Foundation make the generous award is Northland Barge Lines and Specialty Supply.

Drew’s Foundation was started in 2011 by the O’brien family after the loss of their son Drew to suicide. Drew’s Foundation promotes healthy lifestyles and activities and sponsors suicide prevention projects primarily in western Alaska. Learn more at www.drewsfoundation.org

Contact Information:
Drew’s Foundation
Paul O’Brien, Chairman
Box 1501
Bethel, AK  99559

907-545-3606

First Annual Candlelight Vigil a Success!

More than 50 people gathered Monday, September 10, 2012, to remember and share to recognize World Suicide Awareness day. Songs were sung, prayers were made, and the sweet smell of Sweetgrass brought people together. Everyone was encouraged to write a memory, a note, or anything that came to mind. Please join us next year if you missed it. Here are a few photos from the event.

 

World Suicide Prevention Day

10 September 2012

World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September promotes worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. On average, almost 3000 people commit suicide daily. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.

The sponsoring International Association for Suicide Prevention, the co-sponsor WHO and other partners advocate for the prevention of suicidal behaviour, provision of adequate treatment and follow-up care for people who attempted suicide, as well as responsible reporting of suicides in the media.

At the global level, awareness needs to be raised that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. Governments need to develop policy frameworks for national suicide prevention strategies. At the local level, policy statements and research outcomes need to be translated into prevention programmes and activities in communities.

Learn More!

Governor Parnell Proclaims Sep. 9-15, Suicide Prevention Week

Governor Parnell

Official Proclamation:

Suicide Prevention Week
Effective Date: Sunday, September 9th, 2012
WHEREAS, our people are the State of Alaska’s greatest resource and highest priority. Protecting the health and wellness of Alaskans is key to ensuring a stronger future for our families and communities; and

WHEREAS, suicide is the most tragic consequence of mental and emotional illness and distress. Occurring in Alaska at a rate twice the national average, it is one of the top ten causes of death in our state, and is always preventable; and

WHEREAS, suicide impacts rural and urban areas alike. Suicide occurs at the highest rate per capita in rural areas, where a single death can impact an entire community, but most frequently in cities, showing that it is an epidemic across Alaska; and

WHEREAS, the greatest number of suicides occur among 15-24 year old Alaskans. Surveys show that up to 21 percent of high school students reported considering suicide in 2010, with up to 13 percent carrying out an attempt. Tragically, the elderly are also highly susceptible to suicide because of depression stemming from loneliness, neglect, and feelings of insignificance; and

WHEREAS, Alaskans can show compassion for neighbors and loved ones by learning to notice and respond to indicating factors for suicide such as depression, loneliness, alcoholism, drug use, and domestic violence, and can impart hope to others by strengthening their sense of worth and belonging and encouraging open communication; and

WHEREAS, mental illness and suicide may often be stigmatized, discouraging at-risk people from seeking the help they desperately need. Every individual should be treated with respect and compassion; and

WHEREAS, through the Alaska State Suicide Prevention Plan, Casting the Net Upstream: Promoting Wellness to Prevent Suicide, StopSuicideAlaska.org, and other group, community, and individual efforts, Alaskans will continue working to reduce our state’s rate of suicide by reaffirming our commitment to each precious life, our communities, and those we love.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim September 9 – 15, 2012 as:

Suicide Prevention Week

in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to speak out about depression and suicide, and reach out to those who may be struggling. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, call the Alaska Careline at 1-877-266-HELP.