Jeffrey Michalenka 6/6/90-6/13/2006
On June 13, 2006 a 16-year-old boy named Jeffrey Michalenka took his life after an upsetting day at school one week after his 16th birthday.
Shortly after Jeffrey’s death The Valley Breeze ran a story about Jeffrey and Channel 10 brought light to this terrible tragedy. The United Martial Arts Academy, where Jeffrey became a first degree black belt, also began their mission to help stamp out bullying and raise awareness. St. Jude’s Church brought in a Guest Speaker to learn more about bullying and ways to deal with this problem. In August 2006, The MacColl Field YMCA, along with Jeffrey’s sister Beth, dedicated a bench in Jeffrey’s name.
Months later a group of concerned Mom’s and Dad’s from Lincoln, Rhode Island came together and formed a group that was later created and named called CABINS (Community Against Bullying IN Schools).
In the beginning, many concerned parents wanted to make a difference for their children. CABINS hosted their first fundraiser. A car wash held at Lincoln High School with the students washing cars and CABINS members hosting a bake sale to raise money for programs to raise awareness for the young youth in the school system.
On the first anniversary of Jeffrey’s death, parents and neighborhood children went to the Michalenka home and had a candlelight vigil outside in Jeffrey’s name for the family. A journal was presented with notes written by friends, families and students to express their feelings and sympathies to the family. This was a time of compassion that the family will never forget.
In 2010 and 2011 CABINS teamed up with the 3rd Eye Youth Crime
Watch through the RI Attorney General’s Office and funded middle and high school conferences to overcome bullying. Over 300 students and teachers attended and created workshops to empower crime victims in various modes.
One of the greatest moments was when CABINS was instrumental in helping April Fool’s Day became April Friends Day /National Stop Bullying Day. Many schools throughout Rhode Island attended and proudly wore the bright lime green bracelets. The last conference in 2011 all attendees marched to the State House proudly for April Friend’s Day!. The new motto is April Friends Day is Every Day not just April 1st. The bands are currently sold and worn daily to promote support. (Please see our website for purchases for your school).
CABINS mission continues on to raise money to raise awareness in our local schools.
RI Senator Ed O’Neill, Lincoln/Pawtucket/N. Providence greeting 3rd Eye Youth Crime Watch students and teachers at State House rally on April 1, 2011.
The motto’s of the Michalenka Family are:
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED
On behalf of Debbie and Peter Michalenka
PLEASE HELP RAISE AWARENESS STAMP OUT BULLYING!
IF YOU SAVE ONE LIFE IT IS WORTH IT.