A Message from Play Quiz Bowl president Erik Nelson
Quiz bowl players, coaches, staffers, and enthusiasts,
Over the past several months, I’ve given considerable thought to what quiz bowl has done for me in the nearly 20 years (!) I’ve been involved with it in some fashion. I’ve reflected a lot on the community this game has fostered, the support it has given me and others, and what I can do to best give back. As a person who has suffered from depression and bipolar disorder, I’ve thought about how quiz bowl has gotten me through so many difficult times, in high school and as an adult. These issues are ever-present in this community, and the opportunity exists to do more to help kids and young adults who struggle in the same way I did.
With that in mind, I’m proud to announce the formation of the Bounceback Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting positive mental health in the quiz bowl community and raising money for causes that promote mental health support and awareness for young people. Among its non-fundraising goals are to provide handouts and other materials for players and teams that provide information on professional mental health resources and how to recognize the signs of a possible crisis. The foundation also seeks to promote a positive and safe environment in all quiz bowl-related activities, from team practices to national tournaments, and to end the stigma that surrounds talking about mental illness.
The Bounceback Foundation is (pending document approval) a 501c3 non-profit organization, for which donations are entirely tax deductible. Funds to the foundation, at the time of this announcement, are designated to be given to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Trevor Project. The foundation’s board will regularly meet to discuss possible changes to the recipients of these funds and other matters concerning the regular operations of the foundation.
As a result of the above, all further sales of Play Quiz Bowl shirts or similar merchandise will benefit the Bounceback Foundation. Because of this, Play Quiz Bowl’s “new team grant” program is being discontinued. All funds currently reserved for that purpose will remain so for the next 12 months and grant applications will be considered in that time frame. Any funds that remain after that period (on or around November 1, 2018) will be given to the Bounceback Foundation.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I want all quiz bowl players at all levels to know – please know that you are valuable and important, and that if you are struggling you are not alone. If you or a loved one is in need of help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
President of Play Quiz Bowl and Director of the Bounceback Foundation