Rally against bullying and teen violence to part of benefit for local teen

By Kimberly Gasuras - [email protected]

A benefit will be held on Sunday for a Galion teen who survived an assault by three other teens in March.

Maddie Hoffman, 16, reportedly suffered a torn spleen, torn liver and cracked ribs from a fight with three other girls, who were charged with delinquency charges of felonious assault. The incident was video-taped and uploaded onto social media.

The Support4Maddie Ride and Rally will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. At Galion Municipal Airport, 8240 Ohio 309, Galion, with Maddie speaking at around 4 p.m. to tell her story.

“We want this event to bring the community together in solidarity, not only to support Maddie, but to engage in conversation about the issues of teen bullying and violence,” said one of the event organizers, Bill Baker.

Baker said since the incident with Maddie occurred, he has completed research on the issues of teen violence and bullying.

“Teens are desensitized to violence because of what I refer to as screen time. They see so much of it in movies, on television, in video games. There is also the disturbing factor that teens can gain popularity by posting videos of radical incidents on social media,” Baker said.

The event schedule includes:

11am: Gates open- Motorcycle registration

Noon- Galion Cruise (for motorcycles)

1pm- Opening Speakers

2pm- Newhope Industries Dance Troupe

3pm- Students Speak (open mic)

4pm- Maddie’s Story

The event is open to the public and a free family friendly event. Food will be available for purchase and people are asked to bring lawn chairs if preferred.

All proceeds from the event will go into a fund to help cover medical and legal bills for Maddie. A Gofundme.com account has also been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/Support4Maddie. The support page on Facebook for Maddie can be found at https://www.facebook.com/support4maddie.

For more information about the event, call Bill Baker at 419-612-4069, Todd McCullough at 419-544-2881 or Mike Volpini at 614-284-2646.

By Kimberly Gasuras

[email protected]

Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras

Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras