Asbury Park, NJ (PRWEB) February 6, 2005
Jody Joseph, popular New Jersey music instructor, frontperson for the well known Shore act Jody Joseph & The Average JoeÂs and first cousin to pop music icon Jon Bon Jovi, teamed up with the local Chapter of Yellow Ribbon InternationalÂ® to present the L.I.V.E. - Rock For Life Concert that benefit directly Yellow Ribbon InternationalÂs Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention ProgramÂ® in New Jersey. The sold-out L.I.V.E. Concert took place on Saturday, January 29, 2005 at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
The L.I.V.E. (pronunciation: 'liv) - Rock For Life Concert was the vision of Joseph who felt compelled to produce a benefit and awareness concert for teenage suicide prevention after one of her students, Stephanie Fritz, 15, took her own life. Joseph approached Stephanie's father, Scott Fritz with the concept for L.I.V.E. (an acronym created by Joseph's own teen daughter; Live, Inspire, Vibe, Energy). Fritz, now the head of the New Jersey chapter of Yellow Ribbon InternationalÂ®, agreed.
ÂI have always believed that music is a universal language that has the ability to comfort and heal through some pretty dark moments,Â says Joseph. "I'm glad to be part of this wonderful event that I think will change so many lives.Â
The number one priority of L.I.V.E. was to increase awareness about teenage suicide, which has become an epidemic in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
8 Monmouth County teens have completed suicide in the past 16 months compared to 2 in the 4 years preceding that.
Yellow Ribbon InternationalÂ®, an outreach program of The Light For Life Foundation InternationalÂ®, was founded by the parents of Mike Emme, a popular teen who took his life in 1994. The goal of the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention ProgramÂ® is two-fold: Get Yellow Ribbon cards to teens and inform the public what these cards are. All a troubled teen need do is hand their Yellow Ribbon card to someone they trust and that person is to interpret it as a cry for help. The card contains important instructions so that recipient adults and peers can respond appropriately and immediately: Stay with the person, you are their lifeline! - Listen, really listen. Take them seriously! - Get, or call help immediately! Ultimately, The Yellow Ribbon Model intends to adjust societal norms to show that (1) ÂIt's OK to Ask for Help!ÂÂ® and that (2) ÂIt's OK to Be-A-Link!ÂÂ® To date the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention ProgramÂ® has saved an estimated 2500 lives worldwide.
"We need to get this program into the schools," Fritz says. "We've spoken to superintendents in all of MonmouthÂs 52 school (districts), and they've been slow to react.Â
Media has also been slow to cover the suicide epidemic. It was only until the announcement of the L.I.V.E. - Rock For Life Concert that the media began to pick up on this local health crisis. According to Fritz, one of the reasons schools and media are slow to respond to this topic is because of the false belief that talking about suicide will cause suicide.
ÂKids are already talking about (suicide),Â says Fritz. ÂIt is in the movies they see and the shows they watch on TV. If they are going to talk about it they need to know that suicide is not the answer. That it is okay to ask for help. And no matter how bad things look, there are professionals that can help them.Â
Don Quigley, who worked with Fritz to organize the concert, also lost his son, Sean, 14, to suicide. L.I.V.E., he said, is an important first step of breaking through the taboo that surrounds discussing suicide openly and frankly.
"If we were equipped with the education and the look-out signs, I'm sure Sean would be with us today," Quigley says.
Roughly 800 tickets, at $15 a piece, were sold. According to Quigley L.I.V.E. could have sold twice as many tickets if they had a larger venue. The evening featured performances by Jody Joseph & The Average JoeÂs, fellow music instructor Matt OÂRee accompanied by his band, singer/songwriter Dawne Allynne and dozens more local musicians, including nearly 40 of Joseph and O'Ree's young students. Food and beverages were served, and over 50 items were auctioned off, including an Ovation acoustic guitar signed by Jon Bon Jovi and a custom Gibson Firebird signed by Kid Rock guitarist Kenny Olson.
The Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention ProgramÂ® is not funded by federal dollars or large corporations, donations come only from supporters in communities. Proceeds from ticket sales, merchandise and an open auction for the L.I.V.E. - Rock For Life Concert totaled more than $15,000 and will benefit directly Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention ProgramÂ® efforts in New Jersey.
ÂSuicide is a devastating tragedy for the family of the person who completes suicide, for the friends, school, and community. And, it can happen to any family. We never thought it was going to happen to ours,Â says Fritz. ÂEducation is a key. So is love. I don't think we can stop all suicides, but we can certainly keep a lot of them from happening, I have been told three kids have been helped in (Monmouth) County already, and the education is just starting.Â
LFLF Int'l / YRSPP is a IRS registered not-for-profit 501 (C)(3) organization #84-1304474.
Donations In US Funds Can Be Mailed To:
Yellow Ribbon International, P.O. Box 644, Westminster, CO 80036-0644
Office: 303.429.3530 Fax: 303.426.4496
Checks Should Be Made Payable To Yellow Ribbon International.
Please Mark Your Donation "New Jersey" to reach this chapter.
For More Information:
L.I.V.E. - Rock For Life Concert: http://www.iemarketing.com/Live
Yellow Ribbon InternationalÂ®: http://www.yellowribbon.org
Jody Joseph And The Average Joes: http://www.jodyjoseph.net
Matt OÂRee: http://www.mattoree.com
Dawne Allynne: http://www.dawneallynne.com
Phantom Power Productions
Jennifer L. Pricci
Official Photographer FOR THE L.I.V.E. - Rock For Life Concert:
In Focus Productions, LLC
Images can be viewed at: http://www.InFocusProductions.net
To request high-resolution images email: Media-AT-InFocusProductions.net
Photo credit requested where available.