Rutgers students to raise money for suicide prevention at North Brunswick bar
On Thursday, The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille in North Brunswick will be hosting an all-day fundraiser for “Into the Light,” a charity event organized by the Mazzini sisters — Sophia, a Rutgers Business School sophomore and Artemis, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.
The Greene Turtle's fundraiser will run from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and the restaurant will donate 20 percent of proceeds from food sales to the charity.
“We started (Into the Light) because our dad committed suicide,” Sophia Mazzini said. “We wanted to do something and not just sit around and be sad, so we decided to start this 5K. We thought it would be small but now it's really grown.”
She said that so far over 580 people have registered for “Into the Light,” and they have raised over $54,000. Their goal for the fundraiser is to raise at least $60,000.
But the Fundraiser at The Greene Turtle was not part of the original plan, Mazzini said.
“The marketing lady at The Greene Turtle found us,” she said. “She didn't really explain why, she just said that she wanted to help us. So she reached out to us and said, 'We're willing to give you 20 percent of proceeds from food that day.'”
At 9 p.m. there will be a beer pong tournament on the restaurant's back patio, as well as other carnival-style games, she said.
“There's gonna be music and other fun stuff like that,” Mazzini said. “So even if you're underage and can't drink, I think it's gonna be fun to go and hang out with people.”
The 5k walk and run, which is the main fundraiser, is scheduled for Sept. 23. It will be held at 5 p.m. on the Cook campus. There will be live music and a guest speaker, and participants will get free tank tops and glow sticks. All the money raised for the event will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Mazzini said that organizing the fundraiser has been stressful for her and her sister. The sisters have been interviewed by The Asbury Park Press, The Middletown Patch, Rutgers Today and the magazine for their sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, as well as The Daily Targum. They were even invited to speak on a panel about mental health awareness as experts on the uses of social media, Mazzini said.
“I just called my mom because I've been nauseous for the past two weeks — that's how stressed I've been,” she said. “But it's mostly fun stuff. We like doing the interviews.”
As for the fundraiser at The Greene Turtle, Mazzini said that her family and friends from her hometown of Atlantic Highlands are planning to come and that she hopes Rutgers students will come as well.
“It's a sports bar, and everybody enjoys going to sports bars,” she said. “We just want as many people to go. It doesn't matter if it's college kids or adults or anyone.”
Max Marcus is a School of Arts and Sciences senior. He is a correspondent for The Daily Targum.