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'Spice 4 Life' event to feature food, games, more
Nov 03, 2012 5:30 pm
Pastor Glyn Passman saw a problem in his community, and he rallied like-minded people to help him address it.
Passman formed the Living Hope Foundation to address the high suicide rate among teens in the county after he discovered there were 11 youth suicides in a 14-month period in 2011 in Wilson County.
"I'm a pastor here at Faith Church, but this is not a church event," he said. "I started finding out about the high rate of teen suicide. The more I found out, the more I realized that people don't talk about it."
Passman said he felt God was calling him to address the issue.
"A person thinking about ending their life believes there is no hope – nothing to live for," he said. "Suicide is preventable. By raising awareness and sharing information about resources and services, the number of suicides can be reduced. That's why I decided to start this foundation. This gives me the ability to go into the schools where, as a minister, I can't."
He said the foundation also seeks to raise awareness of the large number of elderly and veterans who end their lives by suicide. Passman said many elderly people are depressed to the point of wanting to take their own lives.
"Many of them are in pain and suffering, and they just see suicide as a release," he said, adding that many veterans are depressed after the horrors of war and can't cope with those memories.
Passman was looking for a way to shed light on this taboo topic in a way that doesn't make people uncomfortable. To that end, his group has planned the inaugural “Spice 4 Life Festival.”
"This is a community event, not a church event," he said. "This event is to get people together and inform them."
The Spice 4 Life Festival is planned for Nov. 17, at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and will include activities for every age group. There will be live music from Beyound 33, PlayBack, Tarkington-East, Chas Collins, The GrannyWhites, Sugar Lime Blue, DANYA, Sam and Luke and Andy T-Nick Nixon Band, featuring Markey.
There will also be a car and motorcycle show. Passman said a large group of motorcycles are going to leave Charlie Daniels Park that morning for a charity ride. The group will be returning that afternoon.
The main event will be a chili cook-off, with chili from local restaurants and some individuals. The festival will also have inflatables and face painting for the kids, guest speakers, drama by Mt. Juliet High School, family games with prizes and live and silent auctions. Food and beverages will be available throughout the day.
"We want to get people together to celebrate family and life and have fun, while subtly getting some information into their hands," Passman said. "If it is a seminar all about suicide I don't think people would come."
The information about suicide prevention will be disseminated via the numerous booths at the park during the event.
The Living Hope Foundation is seeking partners throughout the community to support the Spice 4 Life Festival with financial, food and supply donations, and the group is also looking for volunteers. Donations for the auction are needed.
Passman hopes the festival will be just the beginning of the good things the foundation can accomplish.
"With support the foundation will continue," he said. "We want to start some support groups and maybe a camp for troubled kids next summer."
While the weather in November can by a bit iffy, Passman has faith all will be well.
"I think we'll have a beautiful day," he said.
Those who would like to help with the event by donating or by volunteering, may contact Passman at 615-268-2716 or email@example.com.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 45 or firstname.lastname@example.org.