Red Bank, New Jersey – “We have learned that to win the fight against addiction, we must reach our kids before they try drugs… and that means connecting with our children when they are young. To save lives, we are focused on education and prevention in their early, critical years. Our new name and logo better reflect our direction,” said Rick Stavola, Co-Founder of Tigger Stavola Foundation for Drug Prevention and Education (TSF).
The foundation was started in 2014, a year after Rick and Lisa Stavola’s son, Ricky “Tigger” Stavola, lost his life to a seven-year battle with opiate addiction. He was just 25 years old when he overdosed.
“Our plan is to expand our reach now into the middle schools to educate and prevent substance abuse before children experiment with drugs. It’s too late for our son, but it may not be too late for other sons and daughters. It is my mission in life to spare other families the pain this disease has caused us. I know in my heart that Tigger would be proud,” added Lisa Stavola, Co-Founder of TSF.
TSF adds Middletown High School South to its list of schools this fall with active TSF Student Alliance groups. In total, there are 14 high schools in Monmouth and Ocean Counties in our program. The participating schools are Academy Charter High School, Christian Brothers Academy, Communications High School, Don Bosco Preparatory High School, Knollwood School, Marine Academy of Science and Technology, Mater Dei Prep, Middletown High School North, Middletown High School South, Ranney School, Raritan High School, Red Bank Catholic, Rumson-Fair Haven High School, and Trinity Hall. If your school would like to start a TSF group to spread awareness about substance abuse, please call us at 732.865-1559.
In fact, TSF’s Student Alliance will be honored at our 6th Annual Infinity Event, “The Greatest Show on the Beach” on October 2nd at Edgewater Beach Club. TSF Board Member Carol Stillwell will present them with their award for their commitment in the fight against drug addiction through education. Circus performers with the “No Ring Circus” will entertain the crowd, along with live music from Evolution X. There will also be an array of individually wrapped food, carnival games, auction items including a week at an oceanfront home in Mexico, and a raffle for a Hermes pocketbook. Tickets and sponsorships for our Covid friendly event, under a large tent on the beach, can be purchased at tiggerstavolafoundation.org.
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About Tigger Stavola Foundation for Drug Prevention and Education
As part of The Tigger Stavola Foundation’s (TSF) focus on education and prevention, we provide resources to those in the thick of the fight against addiction. In 2021 alone, TSF has spent more than 1500 hours working with families to provide options, direction, and clarity on where and how to start the journey to recovery with available resources. Our Addiction Navigation services are available 24/7 to anyone needing help for themselves or a loved one. Many of the people we have helped tell us they are alive today because of our incredible support. To connect with a TSF Addiction Navigator, call us at 732-865-1559.
TSF’s Student Alliance – a peer to peer educational program – has grown in leaps and bounds. We started in five schools and now have a strong presence in many high schools in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Our Student Alliance members are paired with a TSF Ambassador. These adults serve as mentors to students to guide and offer encouragement to them during their challenging years of adolescence. During Covid, our Speakers Bureau connected our students to Ambassadors and other role models with weekly Zoom discussions. Our Ambassadors shared their professional and personal experiences with students to engage with them and encourage them to make good choices.
This foundation was started in 2014, a year after, Ricky “Tigger” Stavola, lost his life to a seven-year battle with opiate addiction when he was 25 years old. This foundation is a labor of love for his parents, Rick and Lisa Stavola, and his younger brother, Alex, who work tirelessly in Tigger’s memory.
In New Jersey alone, an average of eight people die every day from an overdose. In Monmouth County this year, there have been more than 100 overdose deaths. Unfortunately, the isolation of the pandemic has made the situation worse than ever, causing many addicts to relapse. To help us expand our reach and save more lives, donate at tiggerstavolafoundation.org or call us at 732-865-1559 to volunteer.