Bo Tkach Memorial
Golf Tournament

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Blue Shamrock Golf Club
Palmerton, PA
logo
[download PDF]

"I've got your back" Students learn techniques to improve mental health

It's all about creating healthy schools.

At least that was the message conveyed to students and teachers who gathered at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe Thursday as the Bo Tkach Foundation and Aevidum kicked off a mental health awareness campaign.

Aevidum comes from the Latin word "vid," which means "life," and is interpreted to mean "I've got your back!" It empowers students to take responsibility to make a difference.

Schools from Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties, along with a school from Philadelphia, participated in the event.

Grant Schneebeli, a 10th-grade student at Nazareth High School, said the purpose of the program is to change the lives of those who struggle with issues such as self-harm, depression, anxiety and suicide.

"We can hopefully prevent that and make them feel they're wanted; that we've got their back," Schneebeli said.

Lucas Christman, a freshman at Palmerton High School, also shared his thoughts.

"Aevidum is a really great organization for the students," Christman said. "It's about appreciating kids that might not be as appreciated, just helping and caring for others."

Mary Pritchard, a school psychologist and Aevidum adviser, said the program was a multi-district consortium to give students the tools they need to go back to their districts and share.

"It's about creating a culture in the schools where everyone feels accepted, appreciated, acknowledged, and cared for," Pritchard said.

Lexie Dudeck, a senior at Nazareth High School, knows this all too well.

Originally from New Jersey, Dudeck grew up with parents who struggled with substance abuse.

After being taken away from her parents and placed in foster care, Dudeck was eventually taken in by a family member.

She's thankful for the program.

"Aevidum is not just an organization, it is a savior," Dudeck said. "This group just brings out the best in everyone."

Carbon County Commissioners William O'Gurek and Thomas J. Gerhard praised those in attendance for their participation in the program.

O'Gurek told the students and teachers that it's important that they take the message from here back to their respective districts so that we have healthier schools and healthier students.

Gerhard said that through the program, students can talk to a friend who may be in need of help.

Jim Presto of Aevidum said the program is all about bringing a positive mental health environment in the schools in an effort to change the cultures within the schools.

Aevidum, a Lititz-based nonprofit, empowers youth to have their friends' backs and create cultures of care and advocacy in schools across the nation.

Along with mental health experts, the organization has developed an authentic, age appropriate program that allows students to share information with their peers.

The intention is to start with the high school students and spread the message into the elementary schools.

Aevidum teaches students to take the time to talk to their friends and encourage them to talk to responsible adults, as well as drive awareness throughout the entire school.

Over 100 high schools and middle schools in Pennsylvania have adopted their model, which adapts to any existing initiatives a district has already implemented.

The training was sponsored by The Bo Tkach Foundation, and the family of Robert Best of Northern Lehigh.

For more information on Aevidum, visit www.aevidum.org.

Read the article on the the Times News website.www.tnonline.com

Local students, teachers to take part in mental health initiative

The Bo Tkach Foundation and Aevidum will kick off a mental health awareness campaign for local students and teachers on Thursday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.

According to a foundation news release, students and teachers from Carbon County high schools, and Northern Lehigh and Northwestern Lehigh high schools, will engage in an "exciting collaborative session to learn how to foster a culture of caring in their schools and communities."

Aevidum, a Lititz-based nonprofit, empowers youth to have their friends' backs and create cultures of care and advocacy in schools across the nation.

Along with mental health experts, the organization has developed an authentic, age appropriate program that will allow students to share information with their peers.

The intention is to start with the high school students and spread the message into the elementary schools.

Thursday's event starts with registration and a continental breakfast at 8:15 a.m. and features a concert by the band Flintface from 8:20 to 9 a.m.

Training will run from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:15 p.m. with a lunch in between.

Joe Vulopas, teacher and Aevidum executive director, and Jim Presto, also of Aevidum, will be present at the training.

Aevidum teaches them to take the time to talk to their friend and encourage them to talk to a responsible adults, as well as drive awareness throughout the entire school.

Over 100 high schools and middle schools in Pennsylvania have adopted their model, which adapts to any existing initiatives a district has already implemented

"Studies show that 85 percent of people that we lose to suicide have suffered from a mental illness and the Center for Disease Control states that suicide of ages 15-24 is the second leading cause for loss of life," according to the release. "There are many students that are coming forward for help with mental health issues. However many more do not come forward due to the stigma around it. Those are the kids we are most concerned with."

The training is sponsored by The Bo Tkach Foundation and the family of Robert Best of Northern Lehigh.

Read the article on the the Times News website.www.tnonline.com

2nd Annual Turkey Trot.

Condly wins second annual Bo Tkach Turkey Trot

The second annual Bo Tkach Foundation Turkey Trot was held Thursday morning in Palmerton.

Jonathan Condly finished as the top male runner and first overall with a time of 16:16.

Cassandra Tripaldi was the first female to cross the finish line with a time of 18:56.

Tripaldi finished eighth overall.

Tripaldi
Cassandra Tripaldi was the first female to cross the finish line Thursday at the second annual Bo Tkach Foundation Turkey Trot in Palmerton with a time of 18:56. Tripaldi finished eighth overall. Pictured, from left, are Sandy Tkach, Tripaldi and Jim Tkach. ED HEDES/TIMES NEWS
Condly
Jonathan Condly finished as the top male runner and first overall Thursday at the second annual Bo Tkach Foundation Turkey Trot in Palmerton with a time of 16:16. Pictured, from left, are Sandy Tkach, Condly and Jim Tkach.

Read the article on the the Times News website.www.tnonline.com

The Lehighton Field Hockey Team sponsored an awareness game for the Bo Tkach Foundation.

Banners

In addition to their Friday afternoon game vs. Bethlehem Catholic, They sold shirts for the foundation and sponsored an awareness booth at the Lehighton Panther Valley Football game.

Under the Leadership of Lisa Sawyer they created an information platform and sold shirts with the Bo Tkach Foundation website address on the printing.

Our thanks to Lisa, the field hockey and football teams.

A special thank you to the Lehighton Community and School District for their efforts during this event.



Make the world a better place

Joe Ehrmann and Jim TkachFormer National Football League player Joe Ehrmann, left, and Jim Tkach, of theBo Tkach Foundation at "An Evening with Joe Ehrmann" held Wednesday at Palmerton Area High School. The event was sponsored by the Bo Tkach Foundation.

When Joe Ehrmann speaks, people listen.

A crowd of about 40 attended "An Evening with Joe Ehrmann" Wednesday at Palmerton Area High School.

The free motivational speech to spur students to believe in themselves was sponsored by the Bo Tkach Foundation.

Jim Tkach, of the foundation, thanked the audience for attending the event.

Tkach then gave a sneak-peek as to what makes Ehrmann, a former pro-football player, the successful person that he is.

"He's about understanding ourselves," Tkach said. "He's about love."

Ehrmann spoke of his revolutionary concepts of transformational leadership, coaching, team-building, and mentoring, from his newly released book, "InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives."

He said that even after all these years, we still live in a world filled with racism and sexism.

"You move forward and become what you believe of yourself," Ehrmann said. "Your greatest challenge in life is you've got to define yourself."

Ehrmann said the three scariest words a male has ever heard is to "Be a man."

He cited three myths of masculinity: That being a man has something to do with masculinity, sexual conquests and economic success.

A lot of men suffer from what Ehrmann referred to as alexithymia, an inability to put emotions and feelings into words.

In this cycle, Ehrmann said this type of socialization leads to social mandates, which can lead to alexithymia, covert depression, isolation, substance abuse and/or violence.

Ehrmann said that femininity is another issue, and the idea that woman are supposed to live their lives by three social mandates: The myth about Prince Charming, that value is dependent on beauty and body size, and to abandon their authentic self.

In this cycle, this type of socialization and social mandates can lead to a sense of inadequacy, self-abandonment, depression, eating disorders, and substance/self abuse.

Two criteria

Ehrmann said people who are dying care most about relationships and cause.

With regard to relationships, Ehrmann said we care about loving others, and to be loved.

"All of us got to learn it's the heart where all value comes from," he said.

As for cause, Ehrmann said it's all about making your world a better place.

"At the end of our life, all of us are going to want to make our own legacy," he said.

Ehrmann was an All-American football player at Syracuse University, and was named to SU's All-Century Football Team.

Originally drafted as the 10th pick in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft out of Syracuse University to the Baltimore Colts, Ehrmann played professional football for 13 years.

During and following his football career, Ehrmann attended Dallas Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary, and was ordained in 1985.

Read the article on the the Times News website.www.tnonline.com