Jul 29 2017 10:00
Jul 29 2017 19:00

Ian Prong… Breaking the Silence ________________________________________ Dear Friends and Neighbours, I am reaching out to you and asking for your support in our fight against mental illness, depression and suicide. I am Franz Henke. On September 22, 2014, my wife Paula and I lost our 18 year old son Ian to suicide. Many of you have likely heard our story and been moved by our loss. The outreach of compassion and love from both our community of Baden as well as my old hometown of Uxbridge has been overwhelming at times; and we can never repay the kindness and care given to us by so many. Ian Prong was an incredible young man with a lifetime of promise and opportunity ahead of him. He was gifted academically and was involved in athletics both at the township and high school level. Ian attended Waterloo Oxford Secondary School in Baden. He was incredibly well liked; by teachers as well as his peers and known for the immense smile that he wore . . . always. Ian’s death by suicide was a complete shock to everyone who knew him and a wakeup call to all of us. How does a young man with an entire lifetime of opportunity die by suicide? We ask the questions frequently, but there is no understanding for us. Mental illness and depression cannot always be easily detected and are killing more people than Paula and I could ever have imagined. We started our organization, ‘Ian Prong . . . Breaking the Silence’ because we needed to make a difference. If we are able to save one parent from feeling our grief and heartache, if we are able to stop one young person from making that one ultimate tragic mistake, then we need to do that. We have become actively involved with the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, mainly in the area of raising funds for the many suicide prevention initiatives they are undertaking. We have become active advocates on behalf of all who are struggling, working towards eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness. We tell our story, not because it is easy, but because it is important. Ian wore his mask well, while keeping his true secret hidden deeply within. He did not speak out because of how he felt others would look at him. He did not speak out because we live in a society where mental illness and depression are considered abnormal. He was an 18 year old young man who just wanted to be like everyone else. What he did not understand is that mental illness and depression are normal; they affect many more people than we all likely realize. We need to accept everyone who is struggling and support them. The Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council was there for us when we needed their support. We were lucky enough to attend a support workshop paid for by the Council, and it helped. I cannot say it made us okay, because we are far from that, but it helped. We have found new friends and incredible people who support us . . . and a community in Waterloo Region and Wilmot Township that repeatedly shows how much it cares. Please go to the WRSPC website and look at its goals, programs etc. The WRSPC and ‘Ian Prong . . . Breaking the Silence’ need your support. On Saturday, July 29th, we are hosting the 2nd Annual Ian Prong . . . Breaking the Silence Blue Jays Event. We are asking you to join us for a fun filled day of raffles and prizes; of laughter and camaraderie at the Blue Jays game. We have luxurious, Cherrey coach buses lined up for the day as well as great seats and bus parking at the Rogers Centre. What could be better on a beautiful summer day than time spent with family and friends supporting a great cause and cheering on our Toronto Blue Jays? We have buses leaving from Uxbridge as well as Waterloo and Baden. We look forward to hearing from you. To Heaven and Back, Paula & Franz Please join us for the 2nd Annual Ian Prong… Breaking the Silence Blue Jays Event Toronto Blue Jays vs. Los Angeles Angels Rogers Centre ~ Toronto, Ontario Saturday July 29th, 2017 Game Time: 1:07 PM EARLY BIRD TICKET PRICES: 200 Level Bases (Sections: 212, 213 & 214) 500 Level (Sections: 512 & 513) $ 125 Adult (includes coach bus) $ 65 Adult (includes coach bus) $ 115 Age 14 & Under (includes coach bus) $ 55 Age 14 & Under (includes coach bus) $ 105 Adult (without bus) $ 45 Adult (without bus) $ 95 Age 14 & Under (without bus) $ 35 Age 14 & Under (without bus) PLEASE NOTE: Early bird pricing will be offered on a first come, first serve basis . . . Due to the Blue Jays dynamic pricing structure, the ticket prices listed will increase as we get closer to the event. This is a fundraising event with all proceeds going to the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council. (wrspc.ca) Ian Prong... Breaking the Silence is a non-profit organization created in memory of a remarkable young man with an incredible smile. Ian took his own life on September 22, 2014. Ian was only 18 years old. In Ian’s honour and on behalf of those who are struggling, we are working to raise awareness of depression and mental illness as well as the much needed funding for Suicide Prevention. ORDERING TICKETS IS EASY: Just send an email to [email protected] to let us know you are interested and we’ll take it from there! No access to email… please call Franz at 519-503-3036. Looking forward to a great day filled with fun and camaraderie while supporting this important cause. Let’s Go Jays!!!!!!