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Timothy Schenke

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Letter to the Editor,
The Coast Star
September 2008

Open letter in memory of Tim Schenke

I am the mom of Tim Schenke, the Manasquan High School senior who committed suicide on 4/26/08.

Firstly, I would like to thank all of the people who have let me know how much Tim helped them. Some say he was their "go-to" guy, others explain how supportive and caring he was during their difficult times. Tim seemed to hide his compassionate side from us, his immediate family, and from some of his friends. I want to openly thank Tim for being there for people in their times of need.

Secondly, I would like to thank so many caring people for their support and positive feedback on my earlier letter to the Coast Star. If anyone else would like to read it, you may contact me at schenke@optonline.net.

Thirdly, Iíd like to share a little more insight into Timís death. As many already know, Tim was a sensitive scholar, athlete, volunteer, and tutor who came to rely on marijuana for coping with life issues. In the end, I strongly believe that he could not choose between opening up to accept the help he needed or getting further into drugs; his struggles seemed so overwhelming to him. In addition to pot, Tim had experimented with prescription pain killers, but always told his friends that he would NEVER use cocaine or heroine. The night before his death was the first and only time that Tim used cocaine. I feel that decision, on top of his existing depression, was the last straw. I believe that Tim could not live with himself for crossing that line into cocaine use. If you are at this type of crossroad in your life, I believe with all my heart that Tim would encourage you to choose life; to reach out to family and friends who love you more than you will ever know.

Lastly, there are lots of avenues available to those who do not want to speak to family or friends. A fundraiser, "Hold-On," to promote a local youth helpline will be held on October 12th. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline, the Timothy Schenke Light of Hope Award, and the Andrew Clark Memorial Scholarship Fund. If anyone would like further information, please visit the website: www.holdonbenefit.com or feel free to contact me at the email address stated above.

As another tribute to Tim, I have chosen to write this letter in his most common style of writing. If any of his former teachers are reading this, I am sure they will recognize it! In conclusion, I cannot thank everyone enough for letting me know EVEN MORE OF what a great person Tim was and for your ongoing love and support.

Lisa Schenke
Spring Lake Heights

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