Local News

Jill’s Ride for Hope 2013

   by Montana Fowler

     On Sat., Aug. 24, the Los Gatos community came together to help raise money for Counseling and Support Services for Youth (CASSY) during the fourth annual Jill’s Ride for Hope.

     CASSY was placed  permanently at LGHS five years ago to provide free counseling for students, families, and faculty. Three counselors are always present in House 1 for students to visit whenever they need it; students can make appointments, or just stop by during tutorial or lunch.

     Jill Naber committed suicide her freshman year at LGHS after incidents of cyber-bullying and a photo of her was put on the internet. After Jill’s suicide in 2009, the community came together to prevent suicide and to help teens with the pressures they face by bringing CASSY to our school.

    The fundraising event last saturday was popular, consisting of 95 50-mile bike riders, 68 2- mile bike riders, and 183 3-mile walker/biker/runners. The tickets for the event raise around 35,000 dollars, and the money will be used to pay for three counselors to provide free counseling at LGHS this year. Last year enough money was raised to place CASSY at R. J. Fisher Middle School as well. The program and fundraiser has expanded every year.

     Darin Conway, the Site Director at LGHS, stated, “[Jill’s Ride] is an event for our community; it causes the people of our community to come together to become more aware of what our kids need.”

    Not only were there 346 participants in Jill’s Ride this year, there were also xx of volunteers, helping to sell T-shirts, run the barbecue, and point the way for contestants participating in the event. Participant Letitia Davis commented, “I love participating in Jill’s Ride for Hope, because it is such a warm and friendly community event. I have participated each year by riding the 50-mile course. I am a mother of 3 children of whom have all gone through LGHS, and I want to support CASSY and help bring more awareness to suicide prevention.”

    Year after year members of the Los Gatos community gather together to participate in Jill’s Ride for Hope. Many of the same volunteers and riders return to participate in the event every year, but each year new people join. Being a part of this fundraiser helps bring the community together for a good cause; together we can help the students at our schools live healthier lives.

For more information on CASSY, visit http://www.cassybayarea.com.

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