Cutsforth Marketplace recently donated a check for more than $1,600 to the newly-created community Suicide Prevention Task Force.
Each October, the market holds a "Taste of the Seasons" event, where vendors bring samples for guests to enjoy. Funds raised are donated to a cause. This year, Cutsforth Marketplace opted to give the funds to the task force, according to Canby School District.
"The community just gripped onto it," said event organizer Angela Bermudez. "When they learned the money was going to suicide prevention, they wanted to donate."
This year's event brought in more money than any other year's, the district reported. The total came to $1,687. On Oct. 30, Frank Cutsforth presented the check to Ray Keen of The Canby Center and Canby School District Superintendent Trip Goodall for the task force.
"This donation is a reflection of just how much the people of Canby care about our youth," Goodall said. "We are grateful to have community partners like Custforth Marketplace. We're also pleased to see community members coming together through this task force to support the children of Canby."
The community of Canby experienced the loss of three teens to suicide in 2018. Since the first deaths, signs have popped up all over town, which read, "You Matter," and "You are not alone."
"People wanted the yard signs that are posted up around town…and they thought the task force was behind them," Bermudez said. "Even when they found out the group didn't create them, they still wanted to give money because of everything that happened this year."
The idea for the task force came about in February after two teen deaths in the same week.
"It all came about back in February during that candlelight vigil that was held at Wait Park," city councilor and task force member Traci Hensley previously told The Herald. "Both of the boys that committed suicide that week were actually friends of my daughter. So, standing there with her peer group at the vigil, [I was] thinking, what could be done? I'm standing there, an elected official, very connected in the community, thinking why can't we do something? What can we do?"
That same month, Hensley joined forces with several community leaders to form the Suicide Prevention Task Force. The group is multi-faceted and includes support groups, spreading awareness and potentially a dedicated program at the middle and high schools.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.