Updated: Dec 29, 2019
PROJECT SETH If you live near St. Charles or the surrounding area, don’t be surprised if you see a cavalcade of motorcycle riders cruising your streets on Saturday, July 22nd. Instead of being irritated by the traffic route changes, get out and cheer them on, for they are all riding for a great cause. It is the 2017 Sethtastic Motorcycle Run, an event held by Project SETH to raise awareness for teen and young adult suicide.
This topic has been the center of many of my recent girlfriend talks as the Netflix TV series, Thirteen Reasons Why, has been gaining popularity with parents. I have not yet seen it, but still plan on catching it this summer as I now have children that are starting to enter their teens. The series is based on a young girl and her thirteen reasons why she ended her life – very sad, but also a very realistic look into what challenges our teens today.
Project SETH was started in 2014 when Brett and Laura Bartosik lost their teenage son, Seth, to suicide. To help their own healing, they began the foundation to support those who have attempted suicide or are touched by suicide, and to also generally educate the public on warning signs. “Health programs in schools are losing funding and healthcare is on the rise,” says Laura. “We want to get in and educate about suicide and the impact it has on lives. We will try and reach as many as we can and let survivors know they are not alone.”
The motorcycle run gives the group the opportunity for awareness outreach to the communities and to give survivors the chance to remember their loved ones. This year the ride starts in St. Charles and stops in nearby western suburbs with the finale in Elburn. It is a three to four-hour ride including stops. It has been their biggest fundraiser to date, and they expect many more riders this year.
“My son, Seth, felt strongly that no one should be judged based on their appearance, their family, friends and life struggles,” explains Laura. “He is my inspiration. Everyone has their struggles, and we need to do what we can to help them.”
If you would like to ride, volunteer for an event, or donate funds to the cause, you can visit Project SETH on their website at www.projectseth.org.
Mindy’s July Giving Inspiration: This month, compliment a stranger. You have no idea what their struggles may be, and you could make a difference in how they feel.
ABOUT THE WRITER Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.