This coming month would have been another birthday for Tyler Clementi who ended his life because of bullying in his freshman year of college. The young talented violinist, even in his tragic death, has created an institution that will keep him in the hearts of the LGBT community and its straight allies for years to come.
Tyler's family held the first public fundraising event for the Tyler Clementi Foundation which will focus on assisting institutions such as universities and religious bodies to institute 'best practices' to ensure there will be no more suicides because of bullying. In addition, the foundation will provide guidance to parents who children are vulnerable to bullying.
A huge crowd packed the home of Tony Award winning producer Paul Boskind. Several cast members from the upcoming musical "Bare" sang as an opening. In his introduction of his parents, James Clementi, gave a moving and powerful tribute to them. Joe and Jane Clementi spoke of Tyler, their commitment to be powerful straight allies, their faith and their excitement for the work of the Foundation.
Executive Director Steven Guy outlined ways people can assist the Foundation.
The star of Broadway's The Performers, Henry Winkler lighten the evening with humor but powerfully shared with the crowd his own experience with being bullied for dyslexia.
The evening raised over $75,000. You can find out more information about the Foundation's work and contribute by clicking here.
Executive Director Steven Guy and Actor Henry Winkler