Scott M. Fisher Foundation helps those fighting depression or contemplating suicide

A tragedy often creates a ripple like a pebble dropped into a still lake. Yet not all the ripples bring sadness; some can create awareness and even healing, years after the tears turn to memories.

The Scott M. Fisher Foundation, a foundation established in the memory of a popular Culpeper man who tragically took his own life in 2009, will honor his memory and generate some positive karma this week.

On Friday at 1 p.m. the Third Annual Good Karma Memorial Golf Tournament will tee off to benefit the Scott M. Fisher Foundation. The tournament will be held at the Culpeper Country Club with a special awards ceremony and dinner to follow.

According to Scott’s friends, he would have liked being associated with an event that continuously helps those struggling with depression, especially when it is combined with a sport he loved to play alongside his grandfather.

“Good Karma” came from Fisher’s personalized license plate.

The event was created to promote awareness and raise money to help reach young adults suffering from depression, raise awareness of the warning signs of suicide, community education and if necessary provide direct emergency services.

Last year the event generated $13,000. This year, the hope is that more will be raised.

The foundation has grown into an increasingly pivotal partner for many programs and organizations addressing depression, youth services and other humanitarian concerns.

The tournament is expanding its efforts this year to increase its field of golfers, sponsors, volunteers and educators supporting its cause, according to its organizers.

Golfers taking part in the tournament and enjoying the event’s dinner will get tournament play, a “goodie bag,” dinner, a special awards ceremony and program. Cost for participation is $100.

To increase the fun, special awards will be given for:

Closest to the Pin (men and women), Longest Drive (men and women), Hole-in-One (win a car) and Hitting the Green (5 for 15).

This year’s tournament also will include a raffle and a putting contest

Sponsorships range from $100 to $1000 ―and many businesses and individuals have supported the tournament over its three year history.

The Scott M. Fisher Foundation supports organizations like Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services (RRCS) and a large list of local programs and organizations

Since its formation the Scott M. Fisher Foundation has been instrumental to the community, its funds and services have helped Healthy Culpeper’s After School Arts Program, Empowering Culpeper, Hospice of the Rapidan, SAFE (Shelter for Abused Families), Law Explorers, Kid Central’s Tween Program, Culpeper Youth Football League, Options, Goodwill, Culpeper Library’s Teen Program, Virginia Pregnancy Center, and a media program that creates awareness and promotes education.

According to the foundation suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to 24-year-olds in the United States. Shockingly over 20 percent of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and nine percent report having made a serious attempt on their own lives.

Nearly one in ten youths suffer from some type of depression related issues.

Alan Rasmussen, an advocate for the Scott M. Fisher Foundation, conducts programs in the middle schools. Bullying is often a factor in a pre-teen’s depression. “I’ve had students come up to me after a program and tell me of another teen who they think may need help,” said Rasmussen after a recent appearance on Virginia Living Television’s “It’s All Local.” “We’re trying to educate the public about potential suicide victims and what signs they may be exhibiting.”

In 2009 Culpeper lost 10 community members to suicide, a high rate for the relative population of the county.

The foundation’s goals are to take action to prevent suicide in the Culpeper community by supporting prevention programs for individuals at risk and encouraging training for community members that can help them recognize those at risk of suicide, and provide information to the community on where to access treatment services and help for those at risk.

Enjoy a day of golf and help build some “good karma.”

Depressed? Know someone who is?

If you know someone who needs help with depression or is having suicidal thoughts seek help by calling 540-825-5656, which is the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Clinic’s number. A staff person is available day or night at this number.

Want to contribute? Organizers ask that checks be made payable to:

The Scott M. Fisher Foundation Box 1931 Culpeper, VA 22701

Since the foundation is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization all donations are tax deductible.