The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization that operates the nation’s only 24-hour suicide prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth.
Two-time Academy Award®-winning actress Jodie Foster presented The Trevor Founders Award at it’s annual Holiday event. She presented the award to two of the organization’s founders – director Peggy Rajski and screenwriter James Lecesne.
The Trevor Life Award was presented to Emmy Award®-winning comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
Foster’s support of the organization is both extensive and longstanding. In 1994, she was the first major donor to provide support for the production of the short film Trevor. In June 2007, in support of the organization and to honor her close friend Mr. Stone’s memory and spirit, she kicked off a new $1,000,000 call center fundraising campaign with a major gift. The largest in the organization’s history.
“I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity to present the first Trevor Founders Award to Peggy and James in memory of my dearest friend, Randy,” said Foster. “Their inspired decision to establish this vital organization and their ongoing commitment to saving young lives are indeed worthy of recognition. The very fact that, after ten years, Trevor continues to pursue its mission so successfully is a testament not only to the founders’ initial vision, but also to the importance of the organization’s efforts to help desperate young people realize that their lives have value.”
The short film Trevor is about a teenager who attempts suicide after realizing that he might be gay. The film received numerous awards, including the 1994 Academy Award® for Best Short Film (Live Action).
The Trevor Project was founded by Ms. Rajski, Mr. Lecesne and Mr. Stone in 1998 immediately preceding the first nationally televised airing of the film.
When HBO® decided to televise Trevor, the filmmakers recognized that some of the program’s teenaged viewers might be facing the same kind of crisis faced by the film’s lead character and began to search for the telephone number of an appropriate support line to broadcast during the airing. Discovering that no such resource existed, they decided to dedicate themselves to forming The Trevor Project to aid in suicide prevention among of gay and questioning youth. The organization immediately opened The Trevor Helpline (Helpline), which became the first and only nationwide around-the-clock suicide prevention helpline for that group.
“We are deeply honored to receive The Trevor Founders Award, and know Randy shares it with us in spirit,” said Rajski and Lecesne, founders of The Trevor Project. “It’s extraordinarily gratifying to know that the small non-profit we set up has grown into an organization that now saves lives every day, through its Helpline, its website and the educational materials it sends to schools across the country. We look forward to the next decade during which Trevor will further expand its outreach in order to meet the growing demand for its critical work.”
The Helpline is a free and confidential service that annually helps thousands of youth who are in crisis and also assists family members, educators and friends seeking information on how to help someone in crisis. Trained counselors, who offer hope and listen without judgment, answer the calls twenty-four hours a day throughout the year. The Helpline is maintained by the East Coast and West Coast-based Randy Stone Call Centers and is also supported by the San Francisco Suicide Prevention Center.
Photo: The Trevor Project