Teaming up with KJEE 92.9 FM and Zodo’s Bowling & Beyond, the Glendon Association’s Violence and Suicide Prevention Alliance is holding its first annual Pins for Prevention Bowl-a-Thon on Saturday to raise funds and educate community members about stopping suicide.

Radio personality Spencer from KJEE’s morning show will host the event from noon to 2 p.m. at Zodo’s in Goleta. The Glendon Association hopes to educate community members on the topics of suicide, violence, parent-child relationships and intimate relationships while raising money for its research, publications and workshops.

Glendon Association Community Relations Manager Joni Kelly said the organization wanted to conduct an uplifting event, given the somber nature of the subject matter.

“We wanted to do something that was a fun event,” Kelly said. “Because we at Glendon deal with some pretty heavy topics like suicide and violence and parent-child relationships, we wanted to do an event that was more lighthearted and fun, while still raising awareness.”

Kelly said suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for youths between the ages of 10 and 24, and second leading cause for those between 25 and 34. She also said it is important for families and young people to know what they can do to prevent and understand suicide.

“We were really trying to reach out to youth because young people are a very high risk demographic,” Kelly said. “Young girls in the junior high age range are the fastest growing demographic, mostly by hanging. But youths in general are at a very high risk – they deal with issues like sexuality, clinical depression and difficulties in school. Their brains are reorganizing, physiologically.”

Kelly said the Bowl-a-Thon will feature games and prizes, with lanes sponsored by organizations like Wootton Printing Co., St. Mark’s Church, Los Prietos Boys Academy and Tempest Telecom Solutions, though anyone can sponsor a lane or just bowl for fun.

Bowling will cost $25 per person for 2 full hours, with shoes included, and $200 per lane for 2 hours and an unlimited number of bowlers and shoes. Kelly said guests are not obligated to bowl, and donations are greatly accepted.

“All of the money we raise goes right back into the community with all of the free services we provide,” Kelly said. “In addition to all the community outreach we do, our experts travel across the world doing trainings and workshops and talking about our main areas of study. We educate the community, and we offer our services, free of charge for conventions and staff trainings about these subjects when a tragedy occurs. We can also reference people to free or low cost counseling, and we also produce 10 books and 40 documentary films for the general public and professionals on our areas of study.”

KJEE Promotions Director Ryan Zoldos said the station is pleased to lend a hand to a worthy cause.

“We’re always happy to help out for a good cause and they approached us and it seemed like a cool event, kind of out of the box, and it seemed to ring true for our radio station so I think it was a good fit,” Zoldos said.

Zoldos also said that between rocking out and chatting up the audience, morning show host Spencer will hand out prizes to participants.

“He’s going to be hosting it, entertaining the crowd, playing music and cracking jokes,” Zoldos said. “I’m not sure what they have, but we’re going to be giving away – to every participant – CDs, T-shirts, DVDs, X-Box games and concert tickets.”

Zoldos said that the positive partnership between KJEE and the Glendon Association may continue in the future if conditions are right.

“I can’t guarantee it, but we would like to,” Zoldos said. “It depends on how busy we are at that time, but it seemed to work out this year, and if it works out like this next year and the year after, then we’d be happy to participate.”