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Arlington community comes together to prevent youth suicide
ARLINGTON — Students, merchants and other members of the community are already contributing to an upcoming event to benefit the Youth Suicide Prevention Program.
Lisa Cisneros and her cousin, Kristie Cleary, are organizing the fundraiser, which will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on June 5, at the Sisco Heights Community Center, located at 13527 99th Ave. NE in Arlington. Cisneros’ brother Brett committed suicide at the age of 21 on July 7, 1995, which is why they started fundraising in May and will continue to do so through July of this year.
“This will honor the last birthday Brett celebrated in May, and the day in July that our lives took a tragic turn,” Cisneros said. “If I’d known that Brett was only going to live three more months, I would have done anything to make a difference, so for three months we will make a difference and make it count.”
This fundraising campaign, including the June 5 event, aims to aid in sponsoring more training materials for schools and the community to help lessen the likelihood that other area families might suffer the loss of a loved one from suicide.
Cisneros is a Scentsy consultant and Cleary is a Lia Sophia advisor, and from now through July, between 20 percent and 30 percent of their commissions will go toward the Youth Suicide Prevention Program, which Cisneros deemed “a great organization that focuses on our kids.”
Petite Sweet Bakery of Arlington is donating four-dozen cookies to the June 5 event, while the Starbucks at the Arlington Safeway is donating two travelers of coffee and Penway Printing in Arlington is designing a promotional flyer to display at local businesses and schools.
“We still need commitments for sandwiches, as well as more coffee, cookies, desserts, appetizers, juice and soda,” Cisneros said.
To tie into a recent series of youth suicide awareness forums at the Linda M. Byrnes Performing Arts Center, Cisneros and Cleary displayed two quilts in the PAC and the Arlington High School commons on May 26, which included quilt squares that memorialized youths who have committed suicide.
“Maybe somebody in the community has the ability to share or donate their quilt-making skills to make a quilt honoring Arlington, Marysville, Lake Stevens and Granite Falls youths who have died by suicide,” Cisneros said. “The quilts we have now are borrowed and need to be returned after our event. They have such an impact on young people that I feel it would be instrumental to have one available in this area, for use in schools or libraries or fairs to help stop suicide in our youth.”
Jennifer Barron, deputy director of the Youth Suicide Prevention Program based in Seattle, reported that suicide is the second leading cause of death for Washington state youth aged 10-24 years old.
“Two young people die by suicide every week in our state,” Barron said. “Another 20 youth make suicide attempts each week that result in hospitalization.”
To learn more about the Youth Suicide Prevention Program, log onto their website at www.yspp.org. For more information on the fundraising campaign, contact Cisneros via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.