Suicide awarenesss

By Joyce Ervom

State Awareness Director, Rod Beaton (aka Hot Rod), organized a Suicide Prevention and Motorcycle Awareness Event recently held at the Earl Gladfelter Post 268 American Legion in Milan.  
There was a full day of activities beginning with a pancake breakfast served by the Milan Rotary Club.  It was followed with a motorcycle run.  Beaton said it was a successful ride with 110 kick stands up.  The riders were led off by Milan Police Department motorcycle officers, Sgt. Burgos and Officer Prusaitis.
The afternoon was devoted to distinguished speakers to include Kaye Lani-Wilson former 1988 Miss America.  Statics cited mentioned on average 129 Americans die by suicide each day.  In 2016, the suicide rate for veterans was once and half higher than other adults.
Unfortunately, for many attending, suicide was more than just something to talk about.  Suicide knows no bounds.  Shelley and Ed Schmitt of the Flat Rock Motown Chapter in Taylor, MI. said they lost their grandson to suicide. Dreama Jewell and Bobbie, mother and sister bid 23-year-old Brian Jewell goodbye.  Dreama Jewell is a survivor of suicide.
Others that supported the ride and the event such as Lynn Richards and Harley Dyna of Wayne said, “it’s a great cause.”
Funds were raised through donations for the ride and silent auction bidding with proceeds going to Gabby’s Grief Center, the American Legion and the Veterans & Motorcycle Awareness.  The auction was well supported by individuals and Milan-area businesses.  A raffle was held for a 2019 Ultra Limited Harley Davidson bike. 
Entertainment by the Step Aside band and lunch were provided.  Beaton said the event created much enthusiasm.  He deemed the event very successful.  Further, he was impressed with the community support.
Beaton said suicide is an epidemic at the beginning of the event.  At the closing, he said an individual that had been contemplating suicide for the past two weeks, changed his mind after attending.  Beaton said, “We saved a life today.”

Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer reporting on Milan.  She can be contacted at:  jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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