It's an amazing party with an even more amazing cause behind it. The point is to prevent suicide. The fact that there's beer tasting, a bake sale, hot air balloon rides, a water slide, kids games and live music all day is just a bonus!  And it IS fun...scroll down to check out the pictures I took at last year's event.

Officially the title of the event is Whistle Binkies 16th Anniversary and Jamie Engle Charity Event for Suicide Prevention and Awareness. The money raised goes to NAMI - Southeastern Minnesota's suicide prevention programs. Why the Jamie Engle Charity Event? Because Jamie used to work at Whistle Binkies. And he completed suicide. His mom, Connie, wrote an article for the Post Bulletin about the ways they were trying to keep the same thing from happening in another family.

It's not easy to talk about this with anyone, and for years, deaths by suicide have not been discussed openly. Our family has chosen to be open about discussing our loss, and we are also trying to be pro-active, to get information out to the general public.

With Kate Spade's and Anthony Bourdain's recent suicides in the news, it really puts a spotlight on the issue. What can you do to help? You can join us at Whistle Binkies, and talk to folks from NAMI. There are presentations NAMI does about suicide prevention, like QPR, which is similar to CPR, but for suicide. It gives you the tools you need to ask the most difficult question of all, "Are you considering suicide?" and then shows you how to help someone in crisis.

It's a really serious topic, but raising money to prevent suicide doesn't need to be quiet and serious. It can be fun, and exciting, so please, join me this Saturday to help prevent suicides.

  • WHAT:  Whistle Binkies 16th Anniversary and Jamie Engle Charity Event for Suicide Prevention and Awareness
  • WHEN: Saturday, June 9th - Noon to 10 PM
  • WHERE: Whistle Binkies North (3120 Wellner Drive NE, Rochester, MN 55906)

Whistle Binkies Suicide Prevention Fundraiser - 2017

Listen to James Rabe 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM, and 2p to 6p on 103.9 The Doc.

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