Dozens gather for first annual 'Starting Today' event to stop bullying, promote youth mental health

NOW: Dozens gather for first annual ’Starting Today’ event to stop bullying, promote youth mental health

UPDATE: GLENDALE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Dozens gathered in Glendale on April 25 for an event to stop bullying and to promote youth mental health. 

The Bavarian Bierhaus hosted its first annual 'Starting Today' event to raise money for REDgen and Generations Against Bullying.

There was a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction for guitars. A portion of food sales also helped to raise money for the organizations.

"If we show our kids to respect others and we lead by example, we as parents show them that we can be upstanding citizens. Hopefully that spills out, they become good citizens and we all live better as a community," said Organizer Chris Haines.

To learn more about the event, click here


GLENDALE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Starting Today is the name of an inaugural event focused on ending bullying in middle and high schools as well as promoting mental wellness for tweens and teens coping with unbearable stress. Attendance is free to the public and will take place at the Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 W Lexington Blvd in Glendale, from 5 to 10 p.m. on April 25, 2018.

The evening will feature a mix of entertainment from talented, local youth, with headliner School of Rock performing two half-hour shows at 7 and 8 p.m. Emcees include CBS 58’s Bill Walsh and longtime Milwaukee on-air personality Danny Clayton, who are donating their time and talents. Local author Lora Hyler, who recently published a tween-aged novel about the adventures of a multi-racial group of young heroes, will be on hand to sign copies of her book and inspire young writers. All attendees will receive a free Starting Today silicone wristband.

Make it a dinner night with the family. Proceeds from food and beverage sales, raffles and some vendor involvement will benefit REDgen (, a local nonprofit dedicated to the mental health of all youth, and Generations Against Bullying (, an area organization empowering children to end bullying. They will provide informational handouts as well as messaging throughout the evening.

Starting Today was cofounded by Michael Spanjar and Christopher Haines, two local men who felt devasted over the suicide death of a Glendale teen in November 2017. Many of today’s youth face a 24/7 onslaught of demoralizing messages due to the ubiquity of social media. The event name is meant to be an aspirational mantra for kids. “Starting today, I’ll step up when I see someone being knocked down. Starting today, I’ll be the person I’d rather be. Starting today, I’ll be the example.”

The organizers encourage the public to Like the Starting Today Facebook page and RSVP on the Event Page.

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