Chris Benz Memorial Fund Grant awarded to HC/HY and Dist. 88

NEW ULM – The annual Chris Benz Memorial Fund Grant given by the Highway 10 Baseball Classic has been awarded to Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth of Brown County on behalf of District 88 schools.

The $1,000 grant will be used to raise awareness and provide classroom educational materials related to the prevention of youth suicide.

The Chris Benz Memorial Fund was established in the memory of Chris Benz, a 17-year-old student at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School who committed suicide in 2007. The memorial’s mission is “to foster healthy teenagers and young adults in our communities by providing education in our schools and increased awareness in our communities about the prevention of teenage suicide.”

The grant award to Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth is a direct result of the participation and sportsmanship shown by New Ulm team members who participated in the Highway 10 Baseball Classic held this past July in Perham and New York Mills. They included Collin Helget, Nate Palmer, Judd Davis, Brach Kraus, Jackson Yackley, Connor Forbrook, Wyatt Peterson, Seanan Kelly, Alex Stark, Chase Meyer, Tanner Kluis, Brant Kannegiesser, Tyler Dittrich, Jarin Spence and coaches Dave Shoen and Curt Forbrook.

As part of the grant guidelines Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth will be sponsoring a Life Living Series presentation by Maria Willits on Monday, Jan, 28. This presentation will take place in the DAC Auditorium at 7 p.m. and is open to youth and adults.

Willits’ presentation, “Shatter the Silence” will include her personal story of losing her son to suicide in 2009. Janet Benz will attend and present a check for $1,000 in the name of her son to S.P.O.T.S and Brown County Area Youth Council members from Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth.

Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth will also work with the Brown County Yellow Ribbon to provide evidence-based suicide prevention classroom curricula including videos and other materials for students and faculty in District 88. Grant monies may also be used to send interested students to gatherings focused on suicide prevention.

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