COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Nonprofit, volunteer group host “Say Yes to Life” gala to prevent teen suicide

“Say Yes to Life” gala will raise money to benefit Providence Home, an emergency shelter for teens
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Nonprofit, volunteer group host “Say Yes to Life” gala to prevent teen suicide
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 4:14 PM EDT
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OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) - It’s a tragedy that devastates thousands of families. Each year about 5,000 teenagers die by suicide.

Warren Mortley works every day to make sure that doesn’t happen to teens in Brunswick County.

“Because we know what the indicators are,” Mortley said. “We know that there is a stigma attached to it. We know to tell people that the community loves them.”

Mortley is the director of Providence Home near Southport, an emergency shelter for teens who may not be able to stay with their families.

It’s a nonprofit organization that got the attention of J.T. Mariotte. She heads up a volunteer group called Be the One.

“We have over 40 volunteers and it’s called Be the One because we want to make sure that people know to be the one to ask for help when they need it, be the one to help when asked, and be the one to make a difference in our community,” Mariotte said.

The volunteers put on fundraising events to help local nonprofits. On Saturday, Sept. 9, the group will join others across the world honoring International Suicide Prevention Day.

“And here in Oak Island -- in the Southport area -- we’re doing our part by taking over this hangar at the jetport and we are moving out the airplanes and moving in the music.”

The group is hosting a big dance called Be the One to Say Yes to Life Gala. It will be held at the jetport in Oak Island. Four groups will perform live music including Jordan Oaks, The Renegade Jason Ray Welsh Band, Christine Martinez Band, and Jamie Dooley.

About 250 people are expected to attend.

“We’ve already raised closed to $30,000 and so we are looking forward to breaking our record of a single fundraising event with over $40,000,” said Mariotte.

That’s music to Mortley’s ears. He knows it’s a challenge every day to get teens to understand life is easier on the other side of the pain.

“These children are killing themselves at an incredible rate,” Mortley said. “Anyone can be the one to help someone in darkness and and say yes to life.”

If you’re interested in purchase tickets for Saturday night, click here.