Make a Difference Awards, Part 2
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2017 Russ Berrie "Making a Difference Awards" to talk with extraordinary individuals who change lives of NJ residents. Guests include Kurtis Baker and Tricia Baker, Co-Founders, Attitudes in Reverse; Kiersten Miles, Live Organ Donor; Talia Charles Valentine, Founder, The Valentine House; Brenda Antinore, Director, She Has A Name; and Angelica Berrie, President, The Russell Berrie Foundation.
"Hi, this is Steve Adubato. Welcome to a very special half hour. You're about to meet some extraordinary people. They don't seek attention. They don't want attention. But they deserve our recognition, our respect. This is the 21st year of the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award, honoring New Jersey heroes. The people you'll meet do extraordinary things. They give of themselves. They change people's lives. They don't do it for recognition. They don't do it for money. But I'm confident that you will be inspired, you'll be motivated, you'll be changed in this half hour, and hopefully you too will ask yourself how you can make a difference in the life of someone else. This half hour is gonna make a big difference. We've just concluded this extraordinary event, the 21st Annual Russ Berrie Making a Difference Awards, and our 35,000 dollar winners, and I am pretty sure they were surprised when it happened, Kurt and Tricia Baker, their organization, Attitudes in Reverse, otherwise known as AIR, a very special organization two great people, your reaction...? First of all, before we talk about the award, could you tell folks exactly who may not know what the organization is and why you started it? After we lost our son to suicide in 2009, we understood that there were so many young people out there who were struggling, who were afraid to ask for help, they were embarrassed. 25% of young people have some sort of mental health disorder, and that could be depression, and suicidal ideation. Less than 40% actually ask for help. So we wanted to let young people know that it's okay to talk, and it's okay to ask for help. You know the one thing that really struck me, and I said this when I was moderating today, hosting the event, is that so many people who are recognized, at this event, do what they do, in some way it came out of a tragedy. How clear was it to both of you that this is what you needed to do? And did you...? Because you didn't have to? Right. Yeah what really motivated us was is we actually had the blessing that we actually knew Kenny was struggling with a mental health disorder, and we spent about three and a half years trying to assist him, and when you're in the throes as a family trying to help a child with a mental health disorder, you're literally fighting the system. You're fighting for your child's life, and when he did pass away, we..."