Westfield High School student club to host May 6 event


A student club at Westfield High School is hosting an event open to the public to raise awareness of teen mental health and suicide.

The event by Robbie’s Hope Club, “Where Flowers Bloom, So Does Hope,” will be from 7 to 9 p.m. May 6 at the IMMI Conference Center, 18880 N. East St. Admission is free. A dinner, silent auction and student speakers are part of the event.

Robbie’s Hope, a national nonprofit organization based in Colorado, was created by the parents of Robbie Eckert, who died by suicide at the age of 15 in 2018. The organization seeks to cut teen suicide rates in half by 2028.

Kari Eckert, founder of the national organization of Robbie’s Hope and mother of Robbie Eckert, will attend the gala to speak on the importance of mental health and awareness. She said students in Westfield bring passion and creativity to their work and commended their efforts.

“The students at Westfield High School involved in the Hope group are actively bringing

awareness, tools and resources to their community,” she said. “They are working to create an environment for teens where it is OK to talk about their feelings of depression and anxiety and ask for help if they are struggling. Advocacy for youth mental health is very powerful and prevents student deaths by suicide.”

A year ago, the student club raised more than $14,000 during its first gala that was used to organize a Save a Life Walk in the fall, in addition to creating opportunities allowing students to learn how they can cope with their mental health struggles, organizers said. Funds raised from this year’s event will help the club continue its efforts helping teenagers at Westfield High School.

Originally, there was going to be a charge to attend this year’s gala, but various sponsorships and proceeds from last year made the event free for members of the public to attend, said Ashley Knott, executive director of the Westfield Education Foundation.

Drew Collins, who serves as the student body president at Westfield High School, also recognized the club’s work.

“They have worked tirelessly toward a common goal, and it continues to raise awareness of teen suicide. I am honored to be invited to this year’s gala, and I can’t wait to see what else Robbie’s Hope Club has to offer to our community,” Collins said.

For tickets, which must be reserved in advance, visit bit.ly/2023WHSRobbiesHopeGala.