Joseph R. Gagnier Memorial Fund
This designated fund remembers Joseph Gagnier, a young man lost to suicide. The fund provides for annual grants to the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown for the Make Your M.A.R.K. Program, which stands for Motivated Academically Ready Kids. It is an after-school tutoring program where teachers tutor students in grades 2 through 5 in reading, writing and math. Joe majored in elementary education and he loved interacting with children, so his legacy continues through these grants.
Facts about suicide, from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, who has set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025:
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
- Women attempt suicide three times as often as men
- However, men are four times more likely to die by suicide, oftentimes because men are more likely to have access to firearms
- Firearms now account for nearly 50 percent of all suicides
- Lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents and adults have two to six times higher rates of reported suicide
Gifts to the Fund can be made by submitting a check, payable to the Joseph R. Gagnier Memorial Fund, to the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, 840 West Hamilton Street, Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18101. Gifts can also be made via credit card by clicking the link below.