Written By: Jared Rothberger
Jared and his wife Lisa, along with friends Kathy and Michael Rothstein, developed the Kadima Tyler Howard Mini Golf Classic, first held in 2018, in honor of their friend Tyler Howard who died by suicide in 2015. The event attracted more than 200 attendees and raised more than $34,000 in support of Kadima’s direct-care services, suicide prevention education and outreach activities.
When you go through something tragic, like the suicide of a close friend, there is no roadmap for how best to cope. Losing Tyler left a hole in our lives, but it’s more than just dealing with one loss. You don’t think about what a person “being gone” really means, but it’s not just your connection to them…it’s also your connection to their network of connections. A broken link in the chain means that all those people on the other side, including that person’s family and friends, may also fade out of your life.
Lisa, Kathy, Michael and I knew we wanted to do something in Tyler’s honor which is why we approached Kadima. When we described our idea for a mini golf event, Kadima staff members understood our vision and helped us every step of the way. The event truly honored Tyler as he deserved and brought the community together in the fight against mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it. We have been able to raise awareness and, selfishly, we have been able to reconnect that chain to still feel a closeness to Tyler through his family and friends.
Through this event, I learned so much about Kadima. Its staff members’ kindness toward the people served, and its breadth of programs and resources are exactly what this community needs to help anyone struggling with mental illness.
We all know that in life Tyler never would have wanted the attention, however, the Kadima Tyler Howard Mini Golf Classic supports such an important cause-providing services that might prevent another suicide from happening.
As Kadima celebrates its 35th anniversary and looks toward the future, I hope the organization continues to grow and expand its services to the community. We need Kadima on the front lines battling mental health challenges and educating the community so people can get the help they need. Please join us on Thursday, September 12,th for the 2019 Tyler Howard Mini Golf Classic at the Royal Oak Golf Center. Click here for details.