Blog: A Night for Life: A Fundraiser to Help Stop Soldier Suicide
The men and women of our armed forces deserve our support, especially when they return home from battle. We may embrace our heroes during war time but it’s equally as important to take care of them afterwards both financially and emotionally, with military suicide now considered an epidemic and a staggering rise in cases since 2004. Fortunately, one organization is working tirelessly toward the prevention of these climbing numbers. Enter Stop Soldier Suicide, a non-profit founded by ex and active duty soldiers whose key goal is to bring awareness to the epidemic of veteran suicide.
On Wednesday night, we headed to the west side of Manhattan and climbed aboard the historic USS Intrepid for an event titled “A Night for Life: A Fundraiser to Help Stop Soldier Suicide.” This storied battleship which also poses as a fantastic museum would host a super sized night of drinks, music and dancing, and a silent auction, with proceeds raised to financially support this cause. As we entered the massive space, we found a large number of active duty members of both the Marines and Navy. Guests clamored to approach the soldiers for some photo opportunities and to thank them for their selfless efforts and their courage. We may have been aboard the USS Intrepid for an important cause, but everyone in the house was in very high spirits. Eventgoers were provided with an open bar and a DJ spinning party favorites. As guests made their way through the museum space they had the opportunity to bid on several silent auction items- some of which included vintage basketball memorabilia and music memorabilia. We had our eyes on an autographed guitar from Lynyrd Skynyrd, but alas- we were outbid. Regardless of which choice item you were looking to bid upon, all of the funds raised went directly to fund the organization’s efforts.
Shortly after 8:30pm, “Stop Soldier Suicide” Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer Nicholas Black took to the podium. Mr. Black has served our country in several deployments, which included ‘Operation Enduring Freedom VIII’ for some fifteen months. Black spoke candidly to the packed house about the efforts of the organization and their highly ambitious goals. And in a way that should uplift virtually anyone, he remarked that “Stop Soldier Suicide” ‘started in a Brooklyn apartment with a pizza, and now we are on the Intrepid!’ To help promote the organization’s message, music has been a key component, and as such, Black would introduce up and coming country singer, Sean Mettler to sing his song about the evenings topic titled, “We Don’t Talk About That.” With it’s unmistakable southern twang, the acoustic track held the crowd’s attention before all female group The American Bombshells took the stage. This group is a throwback to the acts from World War II and proved as much by belting out a toe tapping rendition of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
Our team had a fantastic evening helping to support this extremely worthy organization and spending time with the brave members of our armed forces. If you didn’t attend Wednesday night’s event, you can still support the efforts of “Stop Soldier Suicide” and even start your own local chapter. Head over to their website and see how you can give back to the people who give everything for you.
- Jay Rubin