posted 20 Jun 2011, 12:50 by Jess Maher

The 7th of July would have been Grahame Maher's 52nd birthday... Still struggling themselves at times with this fact, Jenny, Jess & Kate are not the only ones this has impacted! In New Zealand as a nation it seems, we have been been rocked and (for some of us, literally) shaken since before he passed - with the earthquakes ongoing in Christchurch which unbelievably started late last year! With the highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD (we double the average rate for youth!!) in 2009, there were more deaths from suicide alone than there were from road accidents! And youth are by far the worst demographic... 


With news of David Gaynor's tragic passing last week also hitting very close to home with a family friend of ours a friend and classmate of his who was at the ball with him. We know how hard it must be even for the most stable and balanced of youth at Kings right now and we also know what it is like to be without any hope... Sometimes its all the difference between life and death in fact and we too are in great need of something positive to look forward too... so we have a plan- every month Jess has been launching paper boats in memory and remembrance of her Dad...


It has not been an easy process for her every month and some have been better than others, but last month- while she has been throwing herself into this work with youth, the Youtube Booth and Sweet As Social Media generally, she did not do a boat launch on the 2nd of the month, we were just too busy! So on the 7th of July, which would have been his birthday and the first without him, we are hoping everyone can come together and do something beautiful and special for all those who find themselves vulnerable and live in today's ever changing digital world... 


We have some other activities planned earlier in the afternoon with a Flash Mob stunt we hope to be able to video, with the help of you guys... We will also ask others, regardless of location or time zone to support the cause and remember those who you may be missing at this time and launch a paper boat in thier honor at sunset in a waterway near you- we would love you to post any pictures or footage on the page to share with others... or if you are in Auckland and would like to come down to launch your boats with us & check out what we are up to & have got planned going forward- we would love to see you!!


We have hired a space on Princes Whalf down in the viaduct and are asking everyone in Auckland to launch a paper boat with a dream or hope of yours or the person you are honoring and to set it sail at sunset... the plan is that we hope to be able to launch our fair share and to have others do the same, with us- or else where- and ythe boats can meet in the harbor and, if nothing else be a symbol of the hope and faith that youth should remember and cling to when they feel all hope is lost... 


We are calling the event "Dream Big" (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=174422099286055) and will also be celebrating the launch of our online magazine on the day, "Virtual Realities" - exploring how the process of growing up in today's world has fundamentally changed...We will be taking the "booth" down and asking those who come along to record a video for youtube to support our "Be Nice Online" Campaign which is still running at the moment -http://www.youtube.com/user/sweetassocial 


Reminding youth to dream big, we want to lead by example and have set ourselves a bit of a challenge for the day... Our dream is to together create a video worthy of getting Ellen DeGeneres attention in the hopes we can one day get on her show to talk about the realities of cyberbullying and online safety for kids world wide! We have some plans for flashmobs, videos and skits but we need your help - check out the event and if you can, come down and show your support on the day! 


Cheers all! 


James & Jess 



Details or changes will be notified through our Facebook page here -http://www.facebook.com/SweetAsSocial !