Suicide awareness is goal of Sept. 17 march in Cleveland

The death of 13-year-old Tyree Black two years ago prompted his mother to take action.

Marie Black formed Dancing for Life, Tyree Black Organization, a community suicide-awareness group.  At noon Sept. 17, the organization will join Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland in a March Against Suicide from Stella Walsh Recreation Center, 7245 Broadway Ave., to the Broadway Boys & Girls Club, 6114 Broadway Ave.

The public is invited to join the march, which is part of Suicide Awareness Month.

“Suicide struck my home in the worst way,” Black said. “My entire family was in shock and totally devastated from Tyree’s death. I am out here fighting to save lives.”

The organization’s name comes from the fact that Tyree, the oldest of Black’s six children, was a dancer.  He was also a member of the Broadway Boys & Girls Club. Club Director Myesha Crowe said she welcomed the opportunity to take part in the march, adding that during the event balloons will be launched in  memory of those who have lost loved ones to suicide or who have contemplated taking his or her own life. Posters, signs and information about suicide will also be available at the Broadway Club.

The march will kick off Tyree’s 2nd Annual Dancing for Life, City-Wide Praise Dance Fest to Combat Suicide event, which is Sept. 24 at Williams Temple Church of God in Christ, 6812 Woodland Ave. At the Praise Dance Fest, which is also part of Suicide Awareness Month, there will be a 1 p.m. panel discussion with Yvonne Pointer as moderator and Crowe as a panelist. Other activities will include skits, poems, booths and praise dances about suicide.

“We just want to get the message out about hope,” Black said.  Crowe added, “The march is just the beginning. We are trying to save lives.”

For more information about the local Suicide Prevention Month events, call Dancing for Life at (216) 370-1283.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland is a for-impact organization providing after-school and summer programs for more than 8,000 youth per year at 15 locations in Cleveland, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and Garfield Heights. By providing programs focusing on academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles, Clubs have helped generations of young people achieve the great futures they deserve.