Pictured from left to right: Victoria Patti, Coordinator of the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention; Carri Raynor, Organizer of the Raynor Memorial Golf Tournament; and Annie Rosenthal, Public Relations Coordinator at Chautauqua Tapestry
JAMESTOWN, N.Y.: –This month, the Chautauqua Tapestry System of Care Initiative was recognized for its work in partnership with the Raynor Memorial Golf Tournament for suicide awareness and prevention outreach by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
The Chautauqua Tapestry System of Care initiative is directed under the County’s Department of Mental Hygiene. Tapestry works to improve children’s mental health services within Chautauqua County by strengthening the existing services and providers through increased collaboration and communication.
Each year SAMHSA holds the Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach (ECCO) Recognition Program which showcases and celebrates the outstanding achievements in communications and social marketing by system of care communities, and this year Chautauqua Tapestry was honored with the Silver Award in the Category: Audience – Parents and Caregivers for their work with the Raynor Memorial Golf Tournament.
This year’s golf tournament, the Sixth Annual Raynor Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at Maplehurst Country Club in Lakewood, NY. Proceeds from the tournament go to The Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Chautauqua County in honor of the memory of Danny Raynor, who lost his life to suicide in 2007. The tournament brings friends, family, and others in the community to not only remember Danny but to remember other loved ones lost to suicide.
Over $60,000 has been raised since the tournament’s first year in 2013. All of the funds raised have been donated towards the fight against suicide in the Western New York Region. The tournament is organized by Carri Raynor, who was Danny’s wife.
“Over the last ten years I have researched suicide and I believe it is my mission in life to bring awareness to the community and to help those struggling with the loss of a loved one,” said Carri Raynor. “When I lost my husband, there were no support groups locally so I had to find what I was looking for on the internet, which was very difficult for me. I had to learn how to juggle taking care of the entire household, yard work, raising an eighteen month old alone, and working full time. In my research, I wanted to understand things like ‘What were the signs on suicide?’ and ‘What could have been done to prevent this from happening?’ This is when I realized I could do something to spread awareness about suicide and give back to the community.”
“We are so thankful to be working with Carri,” said Victoria Patti, Alliance Coordinator. “Her passion for increasing awareness that suicide is preventable and help is available in Chautauqua County is tremendous and we want to be able to continuously provide those resources to support her efforts. Carri needs the community’s support for this event. Not only does she have a tournament to organize, but she also needs donations, gift baskets, and sponsors. She does a lot of this on her own and it is a lot of work.”
This award was not the first time Tapestry has been recognized for their work. In 2017, Tapestry was awarded a Bronze ECCO for a Developmental Passport, which was created in partnership with the Chautauqua Connections Children's Coalition and utilizes a pocket-sized booklet to assist caregivers and parents in keeping track of a child’s developmental milestones and health care information in one place. In 2013, Tapestry received a Silver ECCO for the Reach out a Hand Suicide prevention campaign. In 2011, they also received the ECCO Silver Award for their month-long, full-page newspaper campaign in May that was in celebration of May is Children's Mental Health Awareness month and allowed any local agency or organization to utilize a day to promote their services on mental health, wellness, family and youth. This same May campaign also received Honorable Mention at the 2012 ECCO Awards.
"We are incredibly excited to be honored for consecutive years,” said Annie Rosenthal, Public Relations Coordinator for Chautauqua Tapestry. “It is a great feeling to know that this important work is recognized on a national level as being a valuable asset to our community. A lot of time from dedicated community members goes into the tournament each year. Carri Raynor has worked closely with Victoria Patti, Coordinator of the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention, to include information and resources to the participants about suicide prevention efforts in Chautauqua County. The tournament is a fun, family-centered event that also spreads a safe and hopeful message that encourages others to be the light in the darkness for someone in a time of need. This is a proud accomplishment for Carri, our team at Chautauqua Tapestry, and our community."
For more information about the tournament, please search Raynor Memorial Golf Tournament on Facebook and find the event page. You can also email Carri Raynor directly for additional information or to make a contribution the event at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Chautauqua Tapestry and The Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention search on Facebook for important mental health news, upcoming awareness events, and other updates.