Dudefest held to promote suicide prevention awareness
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Pictured from back left are Stephanie McCarroll, Frank McCarroll, Tara McCarroll-Stauffenberg, Tom McCarroll and Michele McCarroll. In front is Kenny Stauffenberg.
The third annual Dudefest was held recently at the West Penn Rod and Gun Club in Clamtown to promote suicide prevention and awareness.
Tara McCarroll Stauffenberg, who has organized the Dudefest every year, has held the fundraising event in honor of her brother Cory McCarroll, 32, who took his own life in June of 2009.
The event consisted of music, food, dancing, prizes and activities for the kids. "It still hurts. It's going to hurt for a long time," Stauffenberg said. "Cory was the life of the party, always friendly and outgoing. He made a few bad choices and he lost his job because of them and, to him, he lost everything. He felt that he'd let everybody down, and he couldn't live with that.", she added.
Entertainment was provided free of charge by Running with Scissors, Rockin Horse, Jay-N-Zac, Rock Street Park, Bad Weekend, Maury, Tim and Matt, Guily by Choice and Cody Sassaman.
Stauffenberg pointed out previously that depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately at800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) or the deaf hotline at 800-799-4889. "Anybody that knew Cory, knows why it's called Dudefest," Tara added. "I just want to say this is it. Enough. We have to do something to at least try to stop it!"