Yorkville resident honored for suicide prevention efforts
Beacon-News Staff November 21, 2012 10:56AM
Stephanie Weber presents her daughter, Jennifer Slepicka, with the Phoenix Award presented annually by Suicide Prevention Services. | Submitted Photo
Santa Shuffle fundraiser
Suicide Prevention Services will be having some fun with its next fundraiser — the Santa Shuffle set for Dec. 8 in Yorkville. Participants in the event will gather at 9 a.m. in the Jewel Osco parking lot at Routes 47 and 34, where they will don one-size-fits-most Santa suits — pants, top hat — for the run/walk into downtown Yorkville.
The “shuffle” to downtown will stop at River City Roasters for hot cocoa and cookies, and then head back to the Jewel Osco.
The $25 cost includes the Santa suit, cocoa and cookies. All proceeds go to Suicide Prevention Services. To sign up, visit www.santashuffle.org.
To receive a Santa suit, people must register by Nov. 30. People can register and attend the event by signing up after Nov. 30, but they will not receive a Santa suit. The fee is the same.
For information on Suicide Prevention Services, visit www.spsamerica.org.
Updated: November 23, 2012 4:06PM
Jennifer Slepicka of Yorkville, who with her mother has been extensively involved in suicide prevention programs in the Fox Valley, has received Suicide Prevention Services’ annual Phoenix Award for 2012.
The award was presented at the agency’s annual brunch this month at Pipers Banquets in Aurora, where more than 160 people gathered for National Survivors Weekend.
Slepicka, daughter of Suicide Prevention Service’s director Stephanie Weber, became a survivor of a loved one’s death by suicide at the age of 3, when her grandmother took her life.
As an adult, she volunteered at the Crisis Line of the Fox Valley when her mother was the director of that program. After the incorporation of Suicide Prevention Services in 1998, Slepicka gradually began to attend events. In 2008, she volunteered to start up the social media marketing for SPS and has run their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Accounts since then.
Slepicka is credited with coming up with the idea and then bringing to fruition the Sky Lantern Festival at the Yorkville High School football stadium in October. More than 300 people attended that first-time event and more than 240 lanterns were launched in memory of loved ones. More than $4,000 was raised for Suicide Prevention Services.
Slepicka has been involved in other fundraisers, including the 50 Men Who Cook each March and the annual Here For Life Walk held every September. She has marketed and participated in the events — and provided cooks and walkers for both.
She is the media coordinator for Suicide Prevention Services. Her duties include overseeing the website, setting up new events, and maintaining the other social marketing media accounts.