On October 1st, Lauren Jackson organized a team in James’ memory for the Toledo Out of the Darkness walk. Lauren is a member of our JPO Foundation committee and one of James’ closest friends. Lauren, along with James’ friends and family raised awareness for suicide and suicide prevention. Events like these, bring light to the topic and makes it easier for survivors to talk about their loved one. Together, their team raised almost $2,000! These donations will go towards the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide. We are so lucky to have this organization researching, educating, bringing survivors of suicide loss together, and honoring our loved ones lost.
On September 23rd, 2022, Deb O'Connell, was honored to share James's story and the mission of the JPO Foundation for ProMedica's TeenPEP Fall Training Session. This session was held at Toledo Hospital to train over 150 area high school student leaders into becoming youth educators in order to present to their peers ways to cope with mental health issues, suicide, sexual assault, and teen dating violence. This program is a youth led primary abuse prevention program that involves students in creating a positive environment where responsible decisions and respect are valued.
The JPO Foundation is a proud partner and donor to this program as its strategic goals align perfectly with our mission to help people who find themselves in toxic relationships. If you are a student or parent of one that you think would like to be involved with this groundbreaking initiative, please let us know through our Contact page and we'll get you in touch with the the appropriate person, answer any questions, and be happy to get you any additional information you might be interested in.
The University of Dayton Men's Tennis program hosted the First Annual James O'Connell Memorial Invitational on September 23 and 24 at the beautiful Graul Tennis Complex on the UD campus. UD, Xavier, Ball State, and Northern Kentucky competed in the hidden dual matches under perfect weather conditions in James's memory. The level of tennis was fantastic and it was a terrific tribute to James who loved every minute of his four years as a Flyer.
The O'Connell family would like to extend a big thank you to Coach Meyer, James's teammates, Tom Murphy, Jameson Downs, and Mike Rohanna, along with the whole UD Athletic Department for making the weekend such a success. It was great to reminisce with James's teammates, Coach Brumbaugh, and parents from those fun years. It also was a pleasure to get to know the current team and many of their parents. UD will always have a special place in our hearts! Go Flyers!
The JPO Foundation was pleased to present a check on October 3, 2022 to the UTMC Department of Psychiatry that will help fund the new UT Center for Social Neuroscience that will study the social components of depression, suicide, and other psychiatric illnesses. Their work in particular will focus on the impact of educating and modeling healthy relationships for at-risk adolescents, their parents and those with whom they interact with the ultimate goal of increasing resilience to, and ultimately avoidance of the negative impact of abusive relationships on mental and physical health. We are thrilled to partner with UTMC on this initiative. Today would have been James's 37th birthday. Our hope is that all the funds we raise will keep another family, James's hundreds of friends, teammates, coaches, and colleagues from having to endure another tragedy like this.
JPO FOUNDATION PRESENTS $5,000 CHECK
Happy Monday! Last weekend, my husband and I attended our first book event! We were invited to set up a table at a local corn maze. This year, the corn maze spelled out BE KIND. After the event, I found out that the message in the maze was to honor a young man who this world lost earlier this year, as he took his life due to an unhealthy relationship. To make the story more full circle, we are related. To continue the circle, I was asked this week by his mother to collaborate with her to promote kindness and healthy relationships in hopes that everyone knows they are loved. Remember that one small act of kindness can have an unbelievable impact on an individual that they never forget.