Sleepy Hollow High School’s A Night For Suicide Awareness Basketball Game

On Friday, December 15, 2023, Sleepy Hollow High School will be hosting a A Night For Suicide Awareness. Peggy Noonan will be the featured speaker and will briefly address the crowd around 6 p.m. after the JV game and before the Varsity game, where the Horsemen will play against Hendrick Hudson.

Peggy Noonan is the mother of Kevin Noonan Jr., a 22-year-old senior at Penn State University who took his own life on September 30, 2022. Kevin was an Engineering major who struggled with the tough curriculum. His death came as a shock to all who knew him.

“We did not see this coming at all, if you knew Kevin, he was a happy, smart, handsome talented person. Little did we know that he was suffering in silence,” Ms. Noonan said. “When this happened, as a family we did not want to sweep this under the carpet, we wanted to raise awareness to stop this from happening to another family. It’s my passion to help others.”

Ms. Noonan is the aunt of Chris Starace, Special Education Teacher and Head Boys Basketball Coach at the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns.

“I am very excited we were able to put on this special night together with our administration at Sleepy Hollow, the Hendrick Hudson Boys Basketball program and The Kevin Noonan Jr. Foundation,” Coach Starace said. “We all collectively hope that nights like this help raise awareness and give students the message that there is always hope and that they are all loved.”

Ms. Noonan will speak to the audience in between the two games and relay a message of hope for all students that there are people who love them and are here to help if needed. Ms. Noonan recently spoke at Penn State and will now speak at Sleepy Hollow High School. “I have made it well known to everyone that I’m his voice now. This is my way to reach out and help everyone I can. I talk about 988, a 24-7 lifeline that is free and confidential to people in distress,” Ms. Noonan said about her speech. “It’s OK to not be OK but know that there is someone that will be there for you when you need it.”

The Kevin Noonan Jr. Foundation was created in Kevin’s memory in hopes of helping others break through the stigma and have the strength to ask for help, to help those in need, and to create scholarships that support those becoming mental health practitioners. The Kevin Noonan Foundation has been raising money for suicide awareness the past 10 months. While this event is not a fundraiser, it is a night to raise awareness.

“Understanding, empathizing, and openly discussing mental health dismantles the barriers of silence and stigma. Together, we can work together to create an environment where compassion and support thrive, extending a lifeline to those in need,” said Michael Arias, Director of Health, Physical Education, & Athletics at the Public Schools of The Tarrytowns. “We are thankful for our Head Varsity Coach, Coach Starace, for organizing this event for our community and look forward to hearing the powerful words and message from Ms. Noonan.”



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