Austin woman gives $10K to group’s anti-bullying effortsPublished 10:40am Thursday, June 13, 2013
Danielle Nesvold, head organizer and founder of Austin’s Community Against Bullying, was nervous whether the group’s upcoming fundraiser would be enough to support its activities.
“Without funds it’s really difficult to campaign a cause,” Nesvold said. “I was really relying on Take it to the Streets.”
All that changed with a phone call when Reenie Hogan told Nesvold she and her family would donate $10,000 to the cause. Nesvold was speechless.
“I was just in shock,” she said.
With the early donation, Take it to the Streets has hit the ground running. The collection itself, however, runs Friday from 1 to 6 p.m. at the four-way intersection of Eighth Avenue and 14th Street Northwest and the three-way intersection of Fourth Street and First Avenue Northwest. Those who miss the event can drop off donations at Wellness 1st Chiropractic, at 300 W. Oakland Ave.
Reenie’s daughter, Kellsey, was killed in 2006 at the age of 15. Reenie and close friends put together the “Kellsey Jean Hogan Memorial Fund” following Kellsey’s death to continue her legacy through donations, and tuition assistance. After a while, that effort dissolved as other causes came up.
Recently, Reenie had come into some money and spent time deciding what she wanted to support with it. She gave $25,000 to Pacelli Catholic Schools, which was a big part of her late daughter’s life. Then she decided to donate to CAB, which was a group she knew Kelsey would have supported.
“I think it’s just a wonderful cause,” Reenie said.
The giving didn’t end there, though. The Modern Woodmen of America had already arranged to donate to CAB for the fundraiser.
“I had previously stated to Danielle that we would do a matching fund,” said Vicki Legried, financial representative with Modern Woodmen.
Soon CAB was set to receive $12,500 before Friday’s collection period even began. Last year, Take it to the Streets raised slightly less than $3,000.
“This contribution fits in perfectly with our goals of providing an educational scholarship and funding programs to give children opportunities to gain confidence in themselves through arts, sports and other areas of academics,” Nesvold said.
CAB’s mission is to empower both children and adults to deal with bullying.
Legried said it was important to spread the message that bullying is unacceptable for generations to come.
“This is not something that is going to go away,” she said.
As someone who was bullied herself as a child, Legried said she felt very strongly about the issue.
“This is not something that is going to go away,” she said. “It’s an epidemic in society today.”
Reenie said she supported CAB’s efforts and hoped others would as well during the fundraiser.
“It’s easy to write a check, but what Danielle and her group is doing is just awesome to bring awareness to the cause,” Reenie said. “It takes the whole community together to get something like this going.”
CAB’s Bullying Awareness Month
CAB is planning events for Bullying Awareness Month, which is held in October. Family movie nights, a poster contest and a teen dance will be among the month’s numerous activities.
Participants will also have a chance to show their anti-bullying spirit with Unity Day, when wearing orange signifies support for the cause.