WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Ross Griffin Memorial Foundation is having its second fundraiser on Sept. 9 to spread awareness for National Suicide Prevention Month.
The fundraiser started after 22-year-old Ross Griffin took his own life last February.
“He was one of the kindest kids I ever met. Super popular. Probably most people wanted to be him when you think about his life and family. Great family, wonderful family,” said board member Doug Datish.
Griffin went to Ohio University, where he was just about to graduate. Datish said it was a big shock for the community because Griffin had never shown any signs of mental health issues.
“There were no outward signs that anybody could point to and that’s what makes it so challenging because you don’t know,” Datish said.
Last year, the Ross Griffin Memorial Foundation fundraiser event raised over $150,000. Datish said the goal for this foundation is to make sure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen to someone else.
“Our purpose is to provide higher education to youth. Also, provide much needed funding to hope networks and help networking and things like that to help people with mental health crises,” Datish said.
Vince Brancaccio, CEO of Help Network of Northeast Ohio, said people need to realize that mental illness needs to be treated right away.
“Just like any other illness, you know there is treatment and we have a thing where we say, ‘Treatment works, people recover and recovering people work,'” he said.
The annual Ross Griffin’s Memorial Bash will be held at the Air Field in Warren. The gates open at noon and there will be food, vendors and prizes for guests.