Traverse City Business Bringing Awareness To Suicide Prevention With Fly Fishing Event

A local business bringing awareness to a difficult subject.

The people at The Northern Angler lost a dear friend to suicide in April.

To bring more awareness to suicide prevention, they’ll be hosting a fly fishing event in his honor.

“He was like a little brother to me really,” said Brian Pitser, owner of The Northern Angler.

Alex Hawke got his nickname after his first day of work at The Northern Angler.

“We came up early on with the nickname Cheese, so Alex was a very shy, kind of introverted young man but he had this like contagious smile,” said Pitser.

But he struggled with depression.

A struggle that ended on April 28th.

“It’s a really sad situation,” said Pitser. “We were very, very all surprised it caught us off guard to hear the news that he had taken his life.”

To honor his life and bring awareness to suicide prevention, The Northern Angler is hosting the Cheese Cup Fly Fishing Tournament on Saturday and his whole family will be there to participate.

“I think that’s the thing that I wanted to do with the Cheese Cup was kind of get that dialogue going, maybe we all struggle with that from time to time and to let people know it’s okay not to be okay and really to reach out for help because you always have a friend,” said Pitser.

All proceeds from the event will go to Third Level Crisis Center, a 24 hour program that offers support to anyone struggling with challenges in their life.

“A fun way to bring awareness to an important and serious topic,” said Amanda Elliott, Marketing Specialist at Third Level.

Those at Third Level say an event like this helps get the conversation started.

“Just making sure that people know that your there for them and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions,” said Elliott. “It can be awkward and it’s not always an easy thing to do but it’s so important because otherwise you might not know until it’s too late.”

You can participate starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday or you can make a donation at The Northern Angler. 

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