Third annual Joe’s Fund Benefit set for April 20Joe Bodine. Photo by Katherine Richter
On Saturday, April 20, the third annual Joe’s Fund Benefit – a fundraising event held in memory of Decatur resident Joe Bodine, who died in 2016 – will take place to raise both money for important school programs and awareness for mental health and addiction.
Bodine lived in Decatur his entire life. According to the Decatur Education Foundation, who helps run Joe’s Fund, he attended Glennwood Elementary and graduated from Decatur High School in 2015.
“He was smart, funny, popular, and kind,” the DEF said in a statement. “He also struggled with anxiety and depression.”
In May 2016, one year after he graduated, he died from an overdose.
After Bodine’s death, his mom, Lori, reached out to the Decatur Education Foundation, and together, they established Joe’s Fund to address adolescent mental health and addiction.
“This event not only seeks to raise money for important programs, but it also seeks to raise awareness of these challenges our kids are facing,” the DEF said.
The issue of mental health goes far beyond Decatur. Recent studies have shown that the number of kids ages 5 and 18 who are going to emergency rooms with suicidal ideas or attempts has doubled.
Locally, though, Joe’s Fund has enabled a number of new grants to support direct services for Decatur students, parent resources and professional development for Decatur teachers, among other things. Joe’s Fund has also helped create the Decatur Student Center, which helps students meet mental and academic needs, and it has helped fund the placement of a professional Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist at Decatur High School.
The Joe’s Fund Benefit event will take place at the ColorWheel Art Studio, located at 508 E. Howard Ave. Food and desserts will be provided by Oakhurst Market and Butter & Cream. Beer will be provided by Second Hand Beer Company and The Imperial, with wine from Decatur Package Store.
Additionally, there will be a raffle with a chance to win a vacation as well as a staycation, a Fund-a-Need challenge and music by The Clairemont House Band (featuring Stephanie Trauner, a first grade teacher at Clairemont Elementary School who taught Joe when he was 3 years old), the DEF said.
In addition to Decatur parents and teachers, the DEF encourages local behavioral health providers to attend to learn more about Joe’s Fund and to consider partnering with DEF.
Tickets can be purchased here. Those unable to attend can also purchase a ticket for CSD staff members.