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New suicide awareness, prevention group forms in Austin

Shelley Letendre has dealt with the suicides of friends and acquaintances over the past couple of years, and she said they've hit her hard.

So she decided to form the non-profit group Desperate Tears (Our Fight to Bring Awareness and Prevent Suicide).

"I wanted to do something more than what was being done in this town," Letendre said. "I think it can be big."

She spoke about her newly formed group to Community Against Bullying members at their meeting Tuesday evening.

Though Letendre said she is just getting started with the group, she already has board members and is putting together a fundraising concert April 18 at the Paramount Theatre featuring the band Seventh Day Slumber. The concert will be geared toward youth and suicide awareness, but everyone in the community is invited to attend.


Tickets are $10 each; Letendre hopes to get sponsors for the event to help cover some of the costs. Organizers don't want money to be an obstacle for kids to attend the concert, she said.

They're working on a logo for the group, and Letendre has big goals in mind for other fundraisers and events, though she knows right now it's just about building the group up.

"I really want to get more of the community involved," Letendre said. "This town needs some kind of help in this area."

Community Against Bullying offered support for Desperate Tears and help with the concert. There is a strong connection between bullying and suicide, said Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold, president/chairperson of Community Against Bullying.

"This is great," Borgerson-Nesvold said. "This is a door to open for kids that are suffering in silence."

For more information on Desperate Tears, contact Letendre at 440-4670.

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