Seen: Shaka Franklin Foundation’s Love Our Children lunch rise and therapeutic

Those who attcomplete the Shaka Franklin Foundation’s 29th Love Our Children lunch are all too familiar with teen suicide. Some had lost a loved one, others may have been survivors. And of course there were those with the means to lend the time, talent and treasure that is necessary for founder and board chair Les Franklin and his married woman Marianne to be able to continue their work in steering young people in a fitter, more positive direction.

Les Franklin tragically lost his sons, Shaka and Jamon, to suicide. Sixteen-year-old Shaka took his life in 1990; Jamon was 31 when he complete his a decade later.

The 2019 Love Our Children lunch can be represented as some rise and therapeutic, thanks to keynote speaker Kathy Cronkite, who addressed depression and its connection to suicide in shipway that were illuminating and insightful.

The girl of celebrated announcer Walter Cronkite, who was 92 when he died in 2009, was diagnosed with clinical depression as she approached her fortieth birthday, although in retrospect she aforementioned she can trace symptoms of it back to when she was 8.

“Young or old, people with depression are very good about concealment it,” she told those gathered at the Marriott Denver technical school Center. “But the earlier it is treated, the better the outcome.”

Her therapist recommcomplete medication, thing she ab initio resisted because “The idea of medication was very chilling, especially for a Midwest farm family like ours, where taking an acetylsalicylic acid for a headache was seen as a sign of weakness.”

She did follow her doctor’s proposal, and is glad that she did. “Medication gave me back myself; it made me feel normal.”

Depression, she added, “Must be accepted as the medical condition it is in order to combat the stigma attached to it and to make help available to those who suffer from it.”

Cronkite reminded her audience that if you sense that person is depressed, ask them. “If you think thing is wrong, it probably is,” she aforementioned. They might not like that you did, but “It’s better to have an ex-friend than a dead friend.”

University of Colorado president Bruce Benson and his married woman, Marcy, were the executive chairmen and recipients of the Shaka Franklin Foundation for Youth legacy Award. They were unable to attend the May 3 event, however, because Bruce was convalescent from a medical procedure that necessitated bed rest.

In addition to the Youth legacy Award, other honors went to Ashley Berry (Profile of courage Award); FirstBank (Corporate Responsibility and Excellence Award) and Luis Villareal (Community Champion Award).

Berry became a target for bullies after overcoming her timidity by entering pageants, winning roles in plays, winning talent competitions and doing fashion modeling. With help from family and teachers, she gained the confidence to stand up for herself and become a voice for others being bullied. With that, however, came depression and anxiety — conditions she fought hard to overcome.

She is presently an honors student at Lipscomb University in Nashville, working toward a degree in social work with hopes for a career in the mental health field. She is the founder of HOPE (Hold On the Pain Ends), an reach program that sends care packages to teens and young adults header with galore of the issues she had faced.

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Villareal, a commissioned clinical social worker, is the founder of Save Our Youth, a 25-year-old mentoring program serving low-income youth. He besides had a key role in the formation of the Summer Academic Recovery Center and started the Master Apprentice Program, which helps young men gain soft skills training for careers in electrical, HVAC, fastening and plumbing. FirstBank was recognized for its longstanding commitment to the Shaka Franklin Foundation for Youth and other worthy causes.

Former Denver Broncos Odell Barry and Billy Thompson were among the lunch guests, connection a crowd that besides basined retired Judge Dianne Briscoe McKenzie and her husband, the Rev. Gilbert McKenzie; Senior Assistant Colorado attorney General Y.E. Scott; “Soul Food Scholar” Adrian Miller; King Harris, a man of affairs and founder of the Epworth Foundation; Tony Pigford, dean of students at the Boys School of Denver; and publicist Sylvia Cordy. tooth doctor Ken Crichlow, Kevin Koser, a initiation member of Pt Sponsor The Tyton Group, Dr. Jose silva, and Bob Willis, an assistant vice chancellor at the University of Denver, were among the Shaka Franklin Foundation board members present.

Others supporting the cause were Odell Barry’s married woman, Glenda; Denver City council member Albus Brooks; George Brantley, the retired director of the Hope Center; Lee Kathryn Gash-Maxey, executive director of the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, and husband Tom Maxey; Linda and Chuck Leali; Joe Conrad, the founder and CEO of Cactus; Kenneth Bonner, who delivered the invocation; youth speakers Emma Pulse, Isabella Purevsuren and Yehya Kumail; and Roger Fink, the lunch’s master of ceremonies.

Joanne Davidson: 303-809-1314, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and @joannedavidson on Twitter.