Softball tournament in memory of Shanece Sullivan

Skye Skinner of Winchester will be hosting a softball tournament and fundraiser July 28 to remember the life of her best friend Sullivan and raise awareness for prevention.

Six teams will be participating and games will start at 8 a.m. at Cardinal Heights.

Skinner was a close friend to Sullivan and said she wanted to host the tournament to bring more attention to suicide.

“There is like a stigma on suicide and people think negatively talking about it.” she said. “That is why I want to bring awareness to it. People are not alone and they need to realize that or else it will result to the same outcome and it is truly heartbreaking.”

Skinner said the goal is for everyone to remember the life of her close friend, but to also make sure people who are suffering from depression have a shoulder to lean on.

“My goal is to raise money to be able to help people or talk to people or whatever it may be. Nobody should have to debate to themselves whether or not they should commit suicide. We all have different purposes in life to fulfill and we need to make it more known for people who struggle. Recently in the news I seen where little kids and adults have been committing suicide more and more. It is hard to fathom.”

Skinner said Sullivan’s death changed her whole perspective on life.

“Everyone feels different, but it affected me really bad and her family.  I actually found her and went into depression for a couple months afterwards and her sisters did the same thing. It really changed how I view certain things. Anybody could be here and gone before you know so we have to learn to appreciate our friends and loved ones more and make sure we are there for one another.”

Skinner said the support she has received from the community about the softball tournament has been outstanding.

“Facebook has been my tool for word of mouth and it is crazy how many people want to help out or participate,” she said. “All the supporters make me really happy. We have had a lot of support and feed back and excited to play and remember her.”

Skinner said she never thought she would experience something so drastic to happen to a loved one.

“She was my best friend, but more like my sister,” she said. “She was really caring and took care of people. She was lovable, smart and a really good person. She was always the type of person to pick you up if you were down which is ironic but that is how she was.”

Skinner said she learned to be more understanding about certain situations that people are going through from this experience.

“It makes me more open-minded,” she said. “Just because someone is happy or smiling does not mean they are happy. You do not know everybody’s story. It makes me be more cautious with my words. Everybody has more days in their lives and it makes me more aware of situations on how bad they could be.”

To help donate to the concession stands, contact Jasmine King at 859-684-2813.

To be a sponsor for the event, contact Skye Skinner at 859-595-0526.

All proceeds will go towards the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.