MASSILLON, Ohio — A softball tournament was held in Massillon Saturday to honor the life of one of the children who committed suicide in Perry Local School District last year.
Hayden Porter, a freshman at Perry High School, was the sixth suicide between August 13, 2017 and January 11, 2018 at Perry Local School District. After his death, Hayden’s parents created a non-profit foundation called “Hayden’s Story” to raise awareness to the issue of suicide and to create an environment where youth have an outlet to open up about things they may be dealing with.
To reach more youth in the community, the foundation held a softball tournament in honor of Hayden, who loved baseball, that featured 15 teams at Genshaft Fields.
During the tournament, mental health services and grief support groups from Stark County came out to provide support.
More than 300 people attended the event and the money raised at the tournament will be put towards providing scholarships to youth in the community.
The Hayden Porter Foundation has also been working with Perry Local School District to create the “Boomerang Project,” a peer mentoring and leadership program that is set to begin in the fall of 2019.