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Sherrard and Rockridge High School set aside rivalry to raise suicide prevention awareness

Rockridge hosted the 'Mom Friend Project' fundraiser on Saturday.

TAYLOR RIDGE, Ill. — For many years, Sherrard and Rockridge have been rivals; but for one weekend, they put that aside to raise suicide prevention awareness. 

"Suicide has always been a thing that no one wants to talk about," said Sherrard senior Lily Passno. "I think that it should be talked about — it needs to be talked about." 

According to the World Health Organization, over 700,000 people a year take their own life, and Sherrard High School teacher Bill Hammes says he saw one student become a statistic. 

"We had one student at Sherrard who took this own life," Hammes said. "We knew from there on that we needed to do something." 

That something became the Mom Friend Project, a fundraiser that helps people connect with one another through playing games and interacting with therapy dogs. 

Sherrard sophomore Levi Schurr said this event helps people know that this is for anyone who is struggling. 

"It means a lot to me and my family, because we know that people do go through a lot of stuff," Schurr said. "Some don't have the resources or have the people to talk to you but they need to know that we are here for them."

All the money raised will go towards organizations that create resources for those in need. 

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