GCI Suicide Prevention Fund Contributes $108,800 to Fund Nine Programs Statewide
GCI selects recipients for its third suicide prevention grant
ANCHORAGE—The 2019 GCI Suicide Prevention Fund, administered by the Alaska Community Foundation, will distribute more than $100,000 to nine recipient organizations this year, funding suicide prevention programs across Alaska. This is the third year that GCI has supported the grant program.
“Alaska has the highest rate of suicide deaths per capita in the country, which is why it’s so important to GCI to do its part to support those who are combating the issue. It is a cause that touches our customers and employees, in both urban and rural communities equally. Sadly, this issue is personal to many of us,” said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker. “GCI launched the Suicide Prevention Fund in 2017 with a $100,000 donation. We were unsure what to expect and were completely overwhelmed by the response. Entering year three of funding, we are encouraged and eager to continue working with these organizations that are saving lives in our state.”
With the help of ACF, GCI awarded grants to the following recipients this year:
- Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. Mega Menta Wellness Boost.
- Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Connecting Our Sources of Strength.
- Kokhanok Village Council. Kokhanok Suicide Prevention Project.
- Maniilaq Association. “We Need You” Suicide Prevention Campaign.
- Native Village of Kotzebue. Kotzebue Teen Suicide Prevention.
- Northwest Arctic Borough. Selawik Wellness Program.
- Paws for Purple Hearts. Operation Paws for Purple Hearts – Suicide Prevention Assistance.
- Perseverance Theatre, Inc. The Winter Bear.
- Youth Advocates of Sitka, Inc. Sources of Strength.
The grant recipients demonstrated suicide prevention strategies that are best practices or customized to address the specific needs of their communities. GCI, with the help of ACF, solicited and evaluated applications. GCI will continue to rely on ACF as grant administrator.
Since the Suicide Prevention Fund’s inception, more than $337,000 has been contributed to the cause.
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The Marx Bros. Café
Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.