American Foundation for Suicide Prevention LifeSavers Cocktail Party & My Story

 I can’t begin to tell you how important an organization like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is, and I wish it were around when I attempted suicide as a hopeless and confused 21 year old. Thankfully before I passed out, after taking an overdose of Phenobarbital and drank nearly a bottle of Jack Daniels, I did call a friend and they got me to the hospital, where my stomach was pumped within an inch of my life the doctor told them. A few years later I tried again, unsuccessfully. It was the wake-up call I needed and by sheer will power I decided to change my life. I got the help I needed, in addition to quiting drinking. Maybe I would have avoided a lot of the difficulties I went through during these years had there been a program like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention whose message is there’s another way, and we’re here to help you.

Today I am grateful by the Grace of God I survived my depression and self destructive behavior. I also heart the “It Get’s Better” program. These days many lives, young lives, GLBT lives, people, are being saved with these organizations and the messages of hope. You are not alone if suicide has touched your life, whether you thought about it, attempted it or lost someone to it.

In the coming months the AFSP is having their Philadelphia Out of the Darkness Walk on October 6, 2013 and October 26, a masquerade party. I’ll be promoting them and I hope you can support them if you can. Last week they had a cocktail party to honor local LifeSavers. It got better, much better for me. Thanks HughE


The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Greater Philadelphia honored local
LifeSavers who have made it their mission to increase awareness about suicide prevention and mood disorders at its annual
Party with a Purpose


Held at Dr. and Mrs. Dwight Evans Main Line
home, Party with a Purpose is a twilight evening of champagne, hors d’oeuvres
and exciting auction tables

 Lifesavers: James Burns, Cathy Harris, and Terri Erbacher.
 Award Winners: Orin Hollander, Christine Berrettini, and Allery
are honored.

 Every life
matters; Party with a Purpose honors our loved ones and those who help make a
difference in the fight against suicide. 2013 LifeSavers include: Cindy
; Top Individual Fundraiser, Donna Ambrogi; Survivor of the Year, Cathy
Harris, James Burns and Dr. Terri Erbacher
; Survivor of the Year (Mural), Joe
from Avediem; Community Impact Award.

 Gabriella Esser and Michael Marino.
 Scott Duff and James Burns.
 Cathy Siciliano. Is help spearheading a mural in the City called
“Finding the Light Within,” which will eventually adorn the side of
a building in the city.
The 45-foot-high, 150-foot-long mural seeks to raise public
awareness and convey to people the support systems that exist for
those contemplating suicide, or for those touched by the
The mural project is a joint effort of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts
Program, the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and
Intellectual disAbility Services and the American Foundation for
Suicide Prevention, of which Siciliano is a board member. (source)
 Donna Ambrogi and Greg Ambrogi.
 Shelley Leaphart-Williams, Justin Ivy, Trinity Williams, and Tamara
 Cathy Siciliano, Father Marc Capizzi, Kate Glaser, and Claire
 Lifesaver of the Year Terri Erbacher and husband Scott Duff.

 AFSP is also
proud to welcome the induction of our new board members: Theresa
Christine Berrettini,
Allery Elder, Diane Ellis-Marseglia, Orin Hollander, Cindy Kerner

and Jo Anne

Party with a
Purpose wouldn’t be a party without Clear Channel. AFSP will honor this media
giant for their support as our media sponsor as well as Vince Celenza and his
Band for performing at our annual Masquerade Ball in

 Cathy Siciliano and Pat Gainey.
  Kaitlynn Garson, Jennifer Boyle, and Garden Wellington-Logan, Garden Wellington-Logan PR produced this event.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

(Thanks to PhillyChitChat photographer Mike Hirata for shooting this event)