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Culver’s of Winona aims to start conversation about suicide prevention

WINONA, Minn. (WXOW) – This Saturday, July 6, Culver’s in Winona will be encouraging people to start a conversation about suicide prevention.

It’s part of an event called A Life Unfinished. The restaurant is owned by Ellen and Mike Minter and managed by their son Tim. Sadly this family, like many others, has been touched by suicide.

Their nephew and Tim’s cousin, Charlie, ended his life during a struggle with depression. July 6 would have been Charlie’s 36th birthday. And though the family says their grief will never fully disappear, they wanted to take a proactive step in honoring Charlie’s memory.

On Saturday there will be a raffle and a silent auction held at the restaurant. For a donation, customers can also purchase a blue ribbon and place it on a memorial wall in honor of a family member or a friend. All of the money raised will go to the La Crosse Area Suicide Prevention Initiative.

“It’s the people who aren’t willing to talk about it who are the ones who really are suffering,” said Tim Vodak. “So, hopefully we can reach that one person who is willing to open up and go to someone they can trust. We do that here (at Culver’s). We tell new employees, ‘We want you talk to us. We want you to feel comfortable to talk to us about whatever’. Because we may be the only outlet they have.”

Culver’s will also donate at least 10% of the day’s sales to the organization and they’ll have information and staff available to answer questions about mental health. Click here for more information about Saturday’s event.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.


Andrea Albers

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