September 12, 2018 4:08 pm
Updated: September 12, 2018 4:15 pm

Three Days Grace drummer Neil Sanderson named guest speaker for Friday Night Lights

Team 55's annual Friday Night Lights event in Peterborough, which raises funds and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, returns Sept. 21.

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Friday Night Lights is back for a sixth year.

The event, which features a full day of local sports at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary (TASS), raises money and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.

It was started by Team 55 in 2013 by Dave Pogue, following his son’s death by suicide.  To-date, Team 55 has raised nearly $500,000 through Friday Night Lights, as well as other events, for the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

“This year’s event is a celebration. Our motto is ‘five years together, five years stronger.’ We are urging our community to get down to TASS in large numbers,” said Pogue.

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In 2016, Team 55 pledged to fund a new pilot program called Assertive Outreach for Suicide Prevention (AOSP) through the CMHA.

“This program which was started two years ago, at Peterborough Regional Health Centre and later on at Ross Memorial Centre, has grown to support more than 100 people,” said Jack Veitch of the CMHA. “It has a success rate of 100 per cent. These are programs we are creating that are saving people’s lives.”

Each year, Team 55 brings in a guest speaker with a connection to sport. This year, for the first time, it’s looking to the music industry.

Neil Sanderson, drummer for rock band Three Days Grace, which was formed in Norwood, Ont., will not only speak at the event but will also sing the national anthem.

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“Neil has agreed to join us ahead of his departing with the band for the fall European Tour. Three Days Grace has recently lent their support to a number of suicide prevention initiatives including Do It for Daron — a program built by our Petes alumnus Luke Richardson and his wife following the death of their daughter,” Pogue said.

The event, which happens on Sept. 21, will feature a doubleheader of senior football.  At 7 p.m., TASS will face Crestwood and then Adam Scott will take on Holy Cross at 8:30 p.m.

Admission to the event, which features music, refreshments and a raffle, is a donation to Team 55.

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