Archived Story

CAB fields national inquiries on starting anti-bullying groups

Published 8:55am Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Community Against Bullying is branching out.

The local organization dedicated to stamping out bullying in Austin and Mower County has received more than a half-dozen requests over the past couple weeks for information on how to start CAB groups in other communities across the nation.

“I’m excited for people to get proactively involved,” said Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold, head CAB organizer, at the CAB meeting Tuesday night.

Borgerson-Nesvold said communities from as far away as Pennsylvania were contacting her asking how to start similar CAB groups in their towns and cities. Various groups and people have contacted CAB since its inception in February 2011, but Borgerson-Nesvold said the recent attention is a resurgence in interest. CAB members seemed excited to hear their efforts were being noticed by other communities.

“We’ve got to get the message out there,” said Polly Jelinek, CAB volunteer.

While Borgerson sends out information on CAB, other members are looking into getting a service mark on the CAB logo to prevent anyone else from using it. CAB volunteer Kim Steene said she was talking with Austin lawyer Jeff Kritzer to see if he is willing to spearhead the trademark process. Kritzer is board chairman of Austin Public Schools.

CAB will be busy during the next couple weeks. Volunteers will work with Desperate Tears, a local suicide prevention group, to host a prayer vigil before the Walk For Rachel around Mill Pond this Saturday. The fundraiser is held for the family of Rachel Ehmke, a 13-year-old Kasson/Mantorville student who recently took her own life.

The walk will run from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 19 at Mill Pond. Organizers will sell $3 bracelets and $7 car window stickers that say “Stop bullying now. Rachel Ehmke 1998-2012.” The group will also accept donations, and organizers are planning to put donation buckets in area businesses. A benefit account has been set up at Home Federal Bank branches throughout southern Minnesota as well. Organizers have already raised $2,600, according to Borgerson-Nesvold.

CAB members will take their message to the streets of Austin next month when they put on their biggest fundraiser of the year, “Take It To The Streets.” Volunteers will be stationed at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue NW, Fourth Street and Second Avenue NW, and Eighth Street and Eighth Avenue NE to ask for donations from noon to 7 p.m. June 15. CAB raised a little more than $6,000 with the first “Take It To The Streets” last year, and organizers hope to raise even more this time. CAB will receive a matching donation of up to $2,500 from the Modern Woodmen.

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