‘Bullseye for Caleb Darts Tournament’ highlights life-saving causes

A fundraiser held to bring awareness during national suicide prevention month.
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 10:16 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and one event in Lexington helped bring awareness to more than just one way to save lives.

“When a tragedy like this happens, you realize you’re not alone in any of this,” said Leilani Gilbert, Caleb Pitts’ mom.

After Caleb took his own life last year, Gilbert took her grief and put it towards action, just like he would have wanted.

“When he passed away, he wanted it to mean something that he left behind, and he did that for a lot of his friends and family,” said Gilbert. “He was the sole friend. He was that one that introduced people together. So, in his death, we want to continue that. We want his name out there, doing good things for other people.”

In the second annual ‘Bullseye for Caleb Darts Tournament,’ attendees could choose to compete, or to bid on items in the silent auctions. One of the items available was a piece of art originally sketched by Caleb.

This year, Gilbert partnered with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, or KODA.

“You’re able to save so many people with being able to do an organ donation and bring quality and quantity to their lives, so we just feel like it’s a great cause to give to, and we wanted them to be the cause this time,” said Gilbert.

The proceeds from the day’s event will help to support KODA’s mission.

“Every donor can save so many lives and heal so many lives and let that be their legacy,” said Shannon Adkins, philanthropy director for Donate Life Kentucky.

The organization helps to support families in their time of need.

“When they’re at the hospital, they’re not even necessarily thinking about the grief journey yet, and that is where we step in,” said Gretchen Starnes, family aftercare manager at KODA. “The moment they leave the hospital and they have chosen donation, we walk beside them indefinitely through their journey.”

Gilbert reminds the community to take care of one another because it is often difficult to know who is struggling with their mental health.

“I’m out here and I’m talking about it because my son always had a smile on his face. He was peace signing. He was doing things for others that were struggling in his eyes, and we didn’t know all along he was struggling,” said Gilbert.

For more information about organ donation, including why and what can be donated, visit Donate Life Kentucky’s website.