’23 Ryan’s Rave – Fun Night, Good Cause

The dancefloor at the 2019 event. Image from Ryan Reeb Foundation

January 2, 2023
By POL Intern & Pickerington Central Freshman Toby Scofield

On January 28, from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm, please join the Ryan Reeb Foundation at the Wigwam (10190 Blacklick-Eastern Road) for the Sixth Annual Ryan’s Rave.

Admission includes catering by Schmidt’s Sausage Haus, dancing to a live band and DJ, silent auction and a cash bar for those ages 21 and up. To participate in the event, you must be at least 14 years of age.

Tickets are $35.00 per person and are available online.  The proceeds from the event benefit the Signs of Suicide (SOS) Program, administered locally through New Horizons of Fairfield County. 

“The New Horizons program goes to schools in Fairfield County and completed mental health screenings for those who may need more assistance,” said Andrew Winchell of the Ryan Reeb Foundation. “This is very important as children growing up do not always understand the importance of mental health issues in their lives.”

There will be a silent auction where guests can bid on a wide assortment of gift baskets. Image from Ryan Reeb Foundation

Suicide occurs in males and females of all ages, races and religions. It occurs in all cultures and in all countries. No one is immune but 75-percent of suicidal individuals show warning signs. As told on the New Horizons website, every 29 seconds someone attempts suicide in the United States and every 13 minutes someone dies, with a total of nearly 40,000 deaths per year.

The program is a youth suicide prevention program that New Horizons presents to schools within Fairfield County. Through the program, students have gained knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression. Studies show that the Signs of Suicide program has led to a decrease in suicide attempts on a national level. 

The evidence-based program involves a presentation related to signs and symptoms of suicide and depression that is provided in one class period.  Students are taught what to look for in friends and family members relating to depression and suicide signs.  At the end of the class period, the students take a Brief Screen for Adolescent Depression (BSAD).  If the screen is positive for possible depression symptoms, the student is met with individually to determine if any additional support is needed to assist the student in decreasing their symptoms.   

Over the past five years, the Annual Rave has raised $80,000 for SOS in Fairfield County, including $22,000 in 2022.

Ryan Reeb Images from Ryan Reeb Foundation

Per their website, the foundation’s mission is to get more people talking about mental illness in order to increase awareness, and to stop misconceptions about mentally ill people by educating others about mental illnesses. Much like the Signs of Suicide Program, the Ryan Reeb Foundation’s goal is to “help others find their way out of the darkness. Every life is precious.”

Ryan Reeb lost his life to suicide on October 10th, 2016. He was twenty years old. Before this, Ryan had not shown any outward signs of suicidal thoughts or depression, and those around him described him as having a bright personality that made people want to approach him and be friends. 

“Ryan was always the life of the party. No matter who was there, they felt included and he made sure everyone around him was having fun,” said Andrew, Ryan’s best friend. 

He first met Ryan in elementary school, and that meeting bloomed into a very close friendship that lasted through their graduation from Liberty Union in 2014. Andrew credits Ryan with helping him overcome shyness and “come out of my shell”.

“Ryan’s reach was beyond his family and friends,” said Ryan’s mother, Trudy Reeb.  “His kindness, love, silliness, smile and ‘moves’ made a difference in so many lives – far beyond what Ryan ever realized. He was accepting and caring and always put others first. All those around Ryan now have a huge hole in their lives where he is missing. He made everyone around him better and happier.”

“Ryan loved to dance – he danced everywhere,” said Trudy. “He’d dance with me in the kitchen and taught me (or tried to teach me) how to ‘dab’.”

Ryan surrounded by friends. Photo from Andrew Winchell

The Ryan Reeb Foundation is still accepting sponsorships for the Rave.  There are five levels ranging from $100 donations to $5,000. 

For more information please email, ryanreebfoundation@gmail.com.

If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, CALL 2-1-1 immediately. If you or someone you know has harmed themselves, CALL 2-1-1 immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by dialing 9-8-8.

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