We attended the PAX Gala last evening at Cipriani Wall Street that honored our dear friends Vikki and Michael Price. Congratulations to Vikki and Michael. The event raised well over 1 Million dollars.
So let me tell you about PAX.
Why PAX? The Gun Violence Issue Demands New Solutions.
For too long, gun violence in America has been perceived as a political debate rather than what it really is - an urgent public health crisis that is claiming the lives of 8 children and teens every day.
PAX has created two groundbreaking national campaigns, ASK and SPEAK UP, that make the gun violence issue a matter of public health and safety - not politics - and create the foundation for changes in social attitudes, behaviors and public policy that have previously been considered impossible. The fact is, the most successful social awareness movements of our time (such as AIDS, tobacco and drunk driving) all gained critical momentum when they became strongly focused on the public health and safety of the community as a whole, and particularly, our innocent and vulnerable children. PAX is bringing this same insight to the gun violence issue.
The ASK and SPEAK UP Campaigns: Changing Culture AND Saving Lives.
PAX's first major program - the ASK (Asking Saves Kids) campaign - was launched in Fall 2000. Based on the fact that 40% of homes with children have a gun, with many of those guns left unlocked or loaded, the ASK campaign urges parents to ask about guns before sending their children to play at someones home. A partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, ASK is a simple concept that has far-reaching cultural impact. In the program's first two years, the number of parents who said guns are a top concern when their children visit someones home rose from 5% to 19%. The number of parents who said they have been asked about guns in their home rose from 5% to 10%. Parents are now talking with other parents about guns in the home as a routine part of good parenting, bringing the issue out into the open for the first time. Through the ASK campaign, America is changing the way it looks at guns and gun violence, and most importantly, lives are being saved.
Launched in October 2002, the SPEAK UP campaign is based on the startling fact that in 81% of school shootings, the attackers told other students about their plans beforehand. In other words, most school shootings are preventable. SPEAK UP features the nation's first-ever national hotline (1-866-SPEAK-UP) for students to report weapon-related threats in their schools and neighborhoods. Since its launch, the hot line has received more than 10,000 calls, almost certainly leading to the confiscation of countless weapons and prevention of numerous tragedies. SPEAK UP features an in-school curriculum for middle and high school students developed with the support of major educational associations, and a high-profile advertising campaign supported by media partners such as MTV, ABC, CBS, NBC, Channel One, Teen People, ESPN the Magazine and many others. SPEAK UP is also supported by a powerful national media campaign called "Signs," communicating that students can truly help prevent a tragedy by calling PAX's anonymous 1-866-SPEAK UP hotline if they see a "sign" of violence.
PAX: Proven Results.
PAX has become the largest non-lobbying group dedicated to the gun violence issue based on the strength of an innovative strategy and proven results. PAX has assembled an accomplished team of strategic planning, marketing and grassroots professionals, and the rapid success of this team has earned the support of a wide range of organizations in the public health, law enforcement, education, grassroots and public policy fields, along with an impressive array of corporations and individuals.
At the gala we heard from children whose lives have all been effected by guns. Two children lost a young sibling who was playing at the home of a friend and there happen to be a gun in the house. Little children think it's a toy and then someone gets killed. Several children spoke about how they heard of potential threats and called the SPEAKUP hotline to report them and a potential tragedy was averted. We must ensure the safety of our children. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Encourage your children that if they ever hear of any kind of a threat to call the SPEAKUP hotline. You can make a difference.
On a lighter note... The event was magnificent. The auction was great... HMMM added a few things to my collection... TIX to FASHION ROCKS and a Backstage Tour of the ON DEMAND Howard Stern Show... Phil Collins Drum Head Too!!!
Have Fun! I always do!