Wabash Club of Indianapolis Leadership Breakfast
Suicide prevention advocate Leslie Weirich gave a powerful personal account of the loss of her son, Austin '18, in 2016. 'It's been more than six years since the loss of my son to suicide and I've learned so much,' she said. 'We are wired for connection. People don't call crisis lines for obesity (or like diseases). They call for a connection.'
Weirich continued, 'Everyone who walked through the doors this morning is dealing with something. What's in your emotional backpack? The culture of 'man up' has to change. The amount of men who suffer from depression is underreported. Why? Becasue they man up...What happens to trauma when you stuff it in your backpack? Men often suffer in silence. No one ever died from suicide. It happens in that crucible moment when they lose hope--when they can't see the next moment in front of them.'
The Wabash Club of Indianapolis Man of the Year Award was presented to Frank Kolisek '82 (left) by his son, Jake '11. In introducing his father, he said, 'I can sit here all day and talk about what he's done for the College…My dad always says something that resonates with me, which goes with good habits, his way of living, and how we treat others. He says that you are passionate about the things you care about. Along with family and his job, Wabash was right up there. I can't tell you how many times he called me on Saturdays to go do a random basketball or a baseball game. He's always active in fundraising efforts to better the school and get involved.'
Kolisek spoke, too, of lasting impacts of the College: 'The longer you’ve been out, the more young men you see graduate, and the more you see what Wabash has done for them. You see what it did for your two sons who went there. Then you realize how impactful the school is, and those impacts kind of grow on you.'