THE LATEST FROM GENNY
To Our Valued Donors and Supporters,
Hello from the Clay Soper Memorial Fund! It's hard to believe July will mark eight years since we lost Clay. The organization remains strong and committed to saving lives and motivating cultural change among teens. We continue to make a difference in Clay's memory thanks to the many people who support and believe in our mission. The foundation has come a long way, but we have much more to do. 2023 will be a big year with robust programs, new partnerships, a new hire, and meaningful events! As part of our 2023 communication strategy, we have implemented a quarterly newsletter to stay in better touch with all our valued supporters. Welcome to the first edition, which includes highlights from 2022 and our goals for 2023.
We thank you for your past and continued support and look forward to staying connected. With much love and gratitude,
DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM UPDATE
Our mission is critically important and timely. Teen fatality due to recreational prescription drug misuse is rising alarmingly. In addition to the recreational abuse of prescription drugs, teens who suffer from stress and depression are turning to prescription drugs to self-medicate. There is also an alarming increase in deadly overdoses from fentanyl among young people. Teenagers unknowingly purchase Fentanyl-laced prescription pills on the street and through social media.
With many thanks to our Associate Director, Dar Heikkinen, we’re pleased to announce new partnerships and distribution channels for our documentary program, “If They Had Known.”
We’ve partnered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrations in Maine and Michigan as part of the DEA Operation Engage initiative.
“If They Had Known” was selected as the feature film in the “Drugs and Alcohol” curriculum section of Bloom, a first-of-its-kind online health and wellness hub serving teenagers, caregivers, and educators.
We received an Angel Grant from the Foundation for Seacoast Health. The grant will bring “If They Had Known” and the documentary’s key message to high schools,
communities, colleges, and universities in the southern seacoast region of NH and ME at no cost.
PARENTS & FAMILIES
For parents and families, individual rental of “If They Had Known”
is now available on Amazon and Google Play for $4.99.
KNOWING THESE 5 THINGS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE
OR THE LIFE OF A FRIEND
Misusing or abusing prescription drugs can be fatal.
Prescription drugs are not for partying or self-medicating.
Be aware of the consequences of a toxic mix.
Don't hesitate to get help if someone needs it, every minute counts.
Remember how your choices will impact everyone around you.
In January, we hired Kristi Young as our Program and Marketing Director to support the organization's growth initiatives and improve our communication outreach.
Over the last six months, we've consolidated and refreshed our online presence and launched a new website, claysopermemorialfund.org.
We've also consolidated our social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you haven't already, please follow us @claysopermemorialfund.
In our efforts to stay in better touch with you, we've implemented a quarterly newsletter.
MEET OUR PROGRAM & MARKETING TEAM
Program & Marketing Director
Always an avid volunteer and supporter of the Clay Soper Memorial Fund, Kristi joined the organization as the Program & Marketing Director in January 2023. Kristi and her family are life-long ski friends of the Soper family. Clay's sudden, accidental death at 19 and the ensuing anguish for the Soper family and friends will be forever with her. Dedicated to honoring Clay's life, Kristi is committed to enhancing the organization's current outreach programs and developing new programs to prevent other families and friends from experiencing the same tragedy. Her first marketing priority is bringing the life-saving documentary program "If They Had Known" nationwide.
In addition to working at the Clay Soper Memorial Fund, Kristi is a self-employed marketing specialist. For 18 years, Kristi has worked as an independent contractor for small to midsize companies, including Tiny Bully Agency, MicroArts Creative Agency, Timberland, Sheds USA, Ethan Allen Hotel, Harbor Advisory Corporation, and the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association (KBIA).
Trustee & Digital Content Intern
Allie is Clay's sister and a long-time Clay Soper Memorial Fund contributor. After the death of her oldest brother, Allie felt passionate about sharing Clay's story and has been an integral part of presenting the documentary program "If They Had Known" since the film's debut. Allie has worked closely with her family to develop key messaging and offer a student perspective for the documentary program. She has traveled to schools and communities across New England to introduce the documentary program and lead panel discussions. Allie has also been instrumental in helping develop strategies for sales and distribution for the film and creating promotional content for the organization.
Since 2019, Allie has been a Clay Soper Memorial Fund board member and trustee. Allie is also an entrepreneur. In 2020, Allie started Blue Daisy Bakery, a homemade cupcake and cake business that donates 25% of its proceeds to local nonprofits. This spring, Allie graduated from Lafayette College with a BA in English.
Clay Soper Memorial Weekend Championship
Hosted by WVBBTS & CSMF
March 11, 2023
Waterville Valley, NH
On March 11, over 190 athletes from Division 1, weekend racers, ski clubs, and college racers came together to celebrate their personal best at the Clay Soper Memorial Weekend Championship. The purpose of the race is to highlight the efforts of weekend athletes and draw together competitors from all levels of the sport. The event honors Clay, a former WVBBTS "weekend racer." Each year, the race receives overwhelming support from athletes, coaches, race officials, parents, and volunteers from all over New England.
This year's slalom race, as in years past, was about skiing fast, sharing laughs, and coming together for the love of ski racing. The event is known for its inspection cookies, race time music, bib-draw swag, and low-point start list. There was jubilation from racers and the crowd as the top three athletes in Division 1 and the Weekend Division stepped up on the podium to receive their awards.
ABAY CLAY DAY
Hosted by Sigma Chi Fraternity
University of Denver
April 15, 2023
Special shoutout to @sigmachidu for hosting the 9th Annual ABay Clay Day for the Clay Soper Memorial Fund. We are so grateful for your support of our mission and continued efforts to keep Clay's memory alive.
Mark Your Calendar
Clay Day Bike Ride
Hosted by Clay Soper Memorial Fund
October 7-8, 2023
Waterville Valley, NH
Great Day! Great Ride! Great People!
More details are coming soon! Please save the date and, for the latest Clay Day Bike Ride news, sign up for our quarterly newsletter and follow us on social media @claysopermemorialfund.
Join Us For A Clay Day
Through our annual events, the Clay Soper Memorial Fund honors Clay's enthusiasm for adventure, his trust in people, the power he found in kindness, and his passion for skiing. Please help support our mission by participating in a fundraising event this year and let us know when you #HaveAClayDay @claysopermemorialfund
We rely on donations, sponsorships, and grants to continue our mission. Our mission is to educate, engage and empower today’s teens with life-saving information about the risks of misusing and abusing prescription drugs and to help motivate cultural change among young people. The Clay Soper Memorial Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. “If They Had Known” is a Clay Soper Memorial Fund program. We thank you for your donation. Together, we're making a difference.
The Clay Soper Memorial Fund is excited to have a documentary program that benefits the health and well-being of our corporate sponsors' employees and community members. “If They Had Known” is a documentary that shares the story of Clay Soper’s tragic, accidental death at 19 from mixing prescription drugs with alcohol. Narrated by friends and family, the film is an honest and emotional account of the night Clay died and the lasting impact of his death. The documentary and the Program Toolkit catalyze peer-to-peer discussions about the risk of misusing and abusing prescription drugs and provide teens with life-saving information.
Here's how your company can get involved:
We're asking corporate sponsors to help us bring our documentary program, "If They Had Known," to parents and families in your organization and your community.
Host the documentary program for your community to fulfill employee public service hours. We provide a Program Toolkit with facilitation guidelines and a question set to engage in a proactive post-viewing conversation.
Through your corporate communications and social media platforms, help us promote the individual rental of “If They Had Known” on Amazon and Google Play. We can provide the marketing materials you require.
Sponsor our fundraising efforts by donating products for our annual events: Clay Soper Memorial Weekend Ski Championship and the Clay Day Bike Ride.
Does your company sponsor matching gift programs? Mail or email the form to us, and we'll take care of the rest.
Tuesday, November 28, 2023, is Giving Tuesday. Please consider the Clay Soper Memorial Fund on this global day of giving.