The anti-bullying group "Stop the Hate, Spread the Hope" is hosting its first annual Hope Gala. YNN's Sarah Blazonis has more on the group that's reached hundreds of students and made a difference in their communitities.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- The gala is going to be held Saturday, October 19 at the Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club in Cicero. The event will feature dinner, music, and a silent auction.
According to organizers, the gala coincides perfectly with Bullying Prevention Month during October. It also serves as a way for the non-profit to raise money.
The group is made up of about 20 core members and volunteers. They travel to schools throughout Central New York to talk to students about bullying and suicide prevention. Proceeds from the Hope Gala will benefit those presentations, but they'll also help the group continue its Hope Scholarship program.
Co-founder Nick Longo says "Stop the Hate" awarded two $500 scholarships last year to high school seniors who were involved in their community's anti-bullying efforts.
One of the group's main focuses is to empower youth to make positive changes instead of bullying others.
"We think that if we can get the kids to not stand by and just see bullying happen when it does, then the disease of bullying will end and we won't have kids picking on each other, and we won't have kids who have thoughts of suicide because of bullying, because that's where the issue is just terrible and tragic," said Longo.
Space for the gala is very limited, but you can contact organizers if you're interested in attending the event. For contact information, head to sthsquared.org.
For even more information about the group, or to donate, check them out on Facebook or Twitter!