Anti-bullying committee looks for help from ‘The Scary Guy’

Published 10:52 am Thursday, July 28, 2011

The organizers who started an anti-bullying campaign are getting a lot more support.

The Community Against Bullying committee is ramping up fundraising efforts to hire national anti-bullying spokesman The Scary Guy to come to Austin this November. Their target is $20,000 in funding for a several-day program.

“There’s a lot of huge community outpouring,” said Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold.

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The group is campaigning to bring in The Scary Guy, an award-winning anti-bullying advocate known for his tough stance on hate, prejudice and bullying, and for his tattoos, which cover about 85 percent of his body and most of his face.

Many local organizations are throwing their support behind the bullying group.

About 15 organizations officially sponsor CAB’s T-shirts, which will be sold starting this week.

There are also anti-bullying wristbands, which organizers will sell as soon as about 10 to 20 businesses and groups sign on to sponsor them. The wristbands are designed to show community support and get several discounts from local businesses, including tickets for Austin Bruins games.

Those items are the precursor to CAB’s “Take It to the Streets” fundraising event on Aug. 26. CAB volunteers will stand by several intersections across town, including corners near Austin High School, Riverland Community College and Hy-Vee taking donations.

Organizers hope to raise a large amount of money soon. The Modern Woodmen of America will contribute up to $2,500 in matching funds as soon as CAB organizers can raise the money.

Even school board members are getting in on the action, as Austin Public School Board member Kathy Green told the board about CAB’s fundraising efforts during the board’s monthly meeting, which was Monday.

“It’s a very good cause,” Green said Monday.

CAB’s work will continue once “Take It to the Streets” is over. Several businesses are planning fundraisers this fall, including a fundraising night at Gymocha on Oct. 3 and several “Dine to Donate” efforts by Perkins and Ruby’s Place. CAB organizers will organize a volunteer-staffed middle school teen dance on Oct. 28 at the Holiday Inn, which includes a disc jockey, a photo booth and other entertainment.

Though this year’s goal is to bring in The Scary Guy, CAB organizers say they’re going to continue working to erase bullying from the community.

“It was so prevalent, you’d think it was normal, but it’s really not,” Borgerson-Nesvold said. “We’re starting to see the damage that it does to our kids.”