Chat with Tami Clark, coordinator of the Headquarters Counseling Center's Life Support Rally

April 26, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Chat with Tami Clark, coordinator of the Headquarters Counseling Center's Life Support Rally, about the fundraiser and center's services.

Moderator:

Hello, everyone. I'm Christy Little, your moderator for today's chat, and we'll start a little early today. There's still time to submit a question.

With us today is Tami Clark, who is coordinating the Life Support Rally fundraiser for Headquarters Counseling Center. Thanks for joining us today.

Tami Clark:

Thanks for having me here today. I am really excited about telling everyone about the Life Support Rally on Saturday.

Moderator:

Great! First off, can you tell us about what there is to do at the rally? Is this something kids can attend?

Tami Clark:

Kids are definitely welcome!! The Life Support rally started off with 4 bike routes in 2004 and has grown to include a 12, 20, 37 and 50 mile bike routes, 2, 4 and 6 mile walking routes and a festival, which will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and will have live music by The OtherSide, a visit from The Balloon Man, hotdogs and snowcones, face painting, sidewalk art, and our second Annual (Rubber) Chicken Chuckin Championship.

Moderator:

I can't think of any other fundraisers with a rubber chicken chuckin' event. That must have been a highlight in last year's rally.

Tami Clark:

I know chucking a rubber chicken is an odd thing for such a serious cause, but the counselors at Headquarters Counseling Center are just as serious about celebrating life as they are about providing life saving serives to our community, Douglas County and the entire state of Kansas. And trust me, watching a rubber chicken being flung by a catapult made by one of the contestants is a hoot and an amazing conversation starter.

Moderator:

Could you tell us why the event is named the Life Support Rally?

Tami Clark:

Headquarters Counseling Center provides life saving services such as free and confidential counseling 24/7, children's safety programs, the Phone A Friend hotline for kids wanting to talk to a safe adult, is the Kansas hub for National Suicide Prevention Hotlines, Healing After Suicide support group, critical incident stress management for groups experiencing trauma, and depression and suicide education to teens. What ties all of these services together is that they focus on keeping people safe and they support life.

Moderator:

How important is this fundraiser to your organization's financial well-being? What are other funding resources for the center?

Tami Clark:

Headquarters Counseling Center is very fortunate in that it supported by a diverse group which includes the United Way of Douglas County, KU Student Senate, the City of Lawrence Alcohol Tax, our membership drive, partnerships, grants, donations and most recently Peoples Bank, which have not only supported us financially but several of their staff are also on the Life Support Rally committee and have helped out in many different ways with the Center at large. I point this partnership out specifically to let other local businesses know how beneficial this type of partnership is to HQCC and how much we appreciate Peoples Bank for their generosity.

Moderator:

And is there a percentage or anything specific as far as what the Life Support Rally adds?

Tami Clark:

The Life Support Rally is unique in its' contribution because it not only supports HQCC financially, but more importantly educates the community about the services provided by Headquarters Counseling Center and shows the incredible value of the work done by those that volunteer as trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the past 37 years.

This is such a great opportunity to let them know how much we appreciate them AND to let others know how much we need their help to keep those counseling lines open. The only requirements to be a volunteer counselor at HQCC is that you be a caring person, a good listener, between the ages of 19 and 120 (I don't know of anyone older), and willing to commit to 11 fulfilling Sunday afternoons to our spring or fall training program.

trombeck:

What are the center's needs, in terms of volunteers, supplies, etc.?

Tami Clark:

I know your question came in after I sent the previous message, so some of your question is answered above as far as volunteers, but I also wanted to mention that we also need volunteers for next year's Life Support Rally. You can e-mail me directly at hqvc@lawrence.ks.us if you are interested in either becoming a volunteer counselor or committee member as I am also the Director of Volunteers. As far as supplies, we can definitely use help in that area too. We need donations from boring office supplies (white copy paper, colored copy paper, etc.) to snacks for our volunteers who can come off of a serious call and need a sweet pick me up.

trombeck:

What's the most common type of call you get at Headquarters?

Tami Clark:

Wow what a hard question to answer as there just isn't anything common about the calls we get. We talk with kids about their friends, things they like to do, thier favorite color or just being bored and needing someone to talk to. We talk with people who have just experienced a loss, whether that is the loss of a loved one, a relationship or a job. We talk with people who are lonely and call HQCC on a regular basis because they feel isolated and need us as a social resource. We talk with teens who are suicidal. We talk with people who wake up in the middle of the night and are scared of being alone. We talk with people who are in so much pain that the only way they can think of to fix it is to take their own life. Some of the calls take the wind out of you, but most of the calls leave us with the feeling that we have just made a difference in someone's life.

Moderator:

Thanks, Tami. OK -- it looks like a reader has a question about Saturday.

sunflower5:

Our family is signed up for the 12m ride. If we have alot of energy can we go farther on the 20m course?

Tami Clark:

Thank you for coming out on Saturday to support HQCC. The beauty of the Life Support Rally is you can go as far or as short as you feel like when you are out there. If you want to go to the next SAG stop, which is the 20 mile turn around and well marked, you go right ahead. Just enjoy yourself and if you feel like you've gone too far, we have SAG vehicles who can help you out. Again, thanks for your support.

Moderator:

For anyone who wants to go to Saturday's event, it is from 7:30 a.m. to noon at Sunflower School, 2511 Inverness Drive. There's more information at www.lifesupportrally.org. Tami, anything else you'd like add?

Tami Clark:

I think that about covers it. Thank you for the opportunity to sit in on a chat with you and thanks to everyone who is able to come out on Saturday to support Headquarters Counseling Center. If you would like to learn more about HQCC feel free to visit us at www.hqcc.lawrence.ks.us or visit www.LifeSupportRally.org for more questions about the Life Support Rally.

Moderator:

Thanks, Tami.

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