Teen Lifeline hosts several events throughout the year. These annual events are a culmination of a year’s worth of work and time. The hope is that they will spread awareness of our mission and generate funds to help us accomplish it. They are opportunities for the public to learn more about Teen Lifeline. No matter who you are, if you are dedicated to the same mission of creating a way for teens to help teens make healthy decisions, there is a way for you to get involved with Teen Lifeline.
Connections of Hope: An Evening to Celebrate Arizona’s Youth raises awareness and funds for the “connections of hope” found daily by troubled teens who call our peer-to-peer hotline and those reached by our statewide suicide prevention outreach.
It is staggering to realize that in Arizona, nearly one in five high school students have seriously considered suicide. This heartbreaking tragedy is a grim reality far too often. Every time it happens, a child’s suicide impacts a community so large it’s hard to comprehend—family, friends, classmates, coworkers, faith groups, schools, and so many more.
There is hope. Teens by the thousands find hope and help each year through Teen Lifeline’s services. For 33 years the hotline has been a CONNECTION of hope for teens in crisis. Some call just needing a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on; others call as a last resort. Whatever the reason, Teen Lifeline and the teen counselors are here 365 days a year ready to listen and help.
Connections of Hope is an annual fundraiser with exceptional local youth entertainment, a delectable dinner, a live auction, and an opportunity to support Teen Lifeline’s life-saving work. In addition, we are excited to honor a local Philanthropist with the Alfredo J. Molina Community Lifeline Award. This award is presented to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the service of others in their lifetime, particularly to youth. The recipient serves as a community role model; provides inspiration to others with their personal and professional integrity, leading through creativity, initiative, and excellence.
In 2005, the award was named in honor of the inaugural recipient, Alfredo J. Molina, for his service to Arizona youth and our community. Presented each year at the annual Connections of Hope event, the award highlights someone whose compassionate spirit and willingness to give back has benefited the youth. Previous recipients include:
David Alexander (2018), Erik Olsson (2017), Tom Hatten (2016), Donald Tapia (2015), Jordin Sparks (2014), Larry Fitzgerald Jr. (2013), Jerry Colangelo (2012), Bridget Pettis (2011), John R. Norton III (2009), Linda and Bill Pope (2008), Derrick Hall (2007), Carole and Bob Machiz (2006), Peter Thomas (2005), and Alfredo J. Molina (2004).
Honoring one of its most cherished supporters, Teen Lifeline proudly created the Jules Firetag Invitational Golf Tournament held annually at the Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club.
Jules was many things to many people. He was a respected attorney, a giving volunteer having served as a past president for JCC and Teen Lifeline, a good friend, and avid sports fan. For Teen Lifeline, he will be remembered as the first president of our board, the presenter at our events, the comedian at our meetings, and a friend to us all. Jules Firetag was an all-around champion for Teen Lifeline. He was a leader who led with actions. He was always the first to volunteer his time, the first to challenge the “easy way out,” and he consistently led with integrity, honor, and grace.
In memory of Jules, the Firetag Invitational was created. Remembering he also enjoyed a round or two of golf, the tournament is in celebration of his dedication and hard work on behalf of Teen Lifeline. Festivities include a scramble format tournament, complimentary lunch, raffle, silent auction, prizes, and evening appetizers.
During the month of September, Teen Lifeline, along with other Phoenix Valley organizations, visit area high schools providing information regarding warning signs, risk factors, and places teens can go for help if they or someone they know is thinking about suicide.
In addition, we get the community involved through rallies that include live music, raffles, prizes, valuable resources, and other lifesaving information for teens and adults. The goal of these rallies is to educate and inform the public about the prevention of teen suicide and the resources that are available to youth throughout Maricopa County.