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The Tyler Project: Tyler Valcich Memorial Fundraiser Car Show

The Tyler Project was established following the suicide of young Tyler Valcich. (Courtesy Photo)

There are those that face horrific tragedies in life and withdraw into their never-ending sorrow, and then there are those who manifest that sorrow into strength and commitment to help others - such is the path chosen by Tyler Valcich's family.

The Tyler Project was established following the suicide of young Tyler Valcich, "To increase and improve coordination and delivery of mental health services for students, young adults and families in our community."

A memorial fundraiser car show will be held on Sunday, October 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Amagansett Firehouse at 439 Main Street, to raise both awareness and funds for The Tyler Project. This will be an annual recurring event where attendees "can view amazing cars for a great cause, and funds will be used for counseling, educational services and programs to help predict and prevent some of the crises facing young people today, including cyber-bullying."

Facts provided by The Tyler Project are both troubling and heart-breaking: "Suicide is an epidemic throughout the United States but in small communities it has a severe affect on friends and families. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Americans, with someone dying of suicide every 13.3 minutes in 2011. Traditional suicide prevention resources such as education, counseling and help lifelines are being augmented with mobile apps that expand the reach and try to save lives that might otherwise be lost. Suicide prevention apps are aimed to help those with suicidal thoughts, as well as friends, family, and loved ones looking to educate themselves and reach out to someone in need."

In our area according to Tyler's mother, Valinda Valcich, "Immediate help in the Hamptons for emergency crisis is currently non-existent. We have established a highly successful therapy group for young adults by creating and funding programs and lectures for the East End school districts, fire and police departments, churches and other community programs, as well as work with therapists and doctors to reduce the high expense of therapy." Additionally, "We are working with Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to create an area of the emergency room that can provide privacy for families and patients in crisis and provide access to an on-staff psychologist within the emergency room."

The event will offer live music, raffles, mini-train rides and Fire Department aerial truck rides. Food will be on hand from local vendors including Dressen's Donuts and John's Drive-In Ice Cream, among others, as well as hamburgers, hot dogs, brick oven pizza, popcorn and cotton candy.

One successful program The Tyler Project, in conjunction with other agencies, created is the "The East End Chat & Chill," for young adults ages 15-22. For more information reach out on Facebook at EastEndChatandChill (www.facebook.com), or call 631-604-8828.

For more information about The Tyler Project, visit www.tylerproject.org.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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