Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation Gala Event

On April 13, 2013, I served as the keynote speaker for the Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation “Jordan’s Journey” Gala Event held at Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. I met the Porco family, who lost their son to suicide, through our involvement with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( and was honored to speak at the 600-person event in memory of Jordan. I lost my mother to suicide nearly 25 years ago – when I was in college. And, I believe it’s no coincidence that this event – this opportunity for me to help raise the volume on the national suicide conversation and connect with hundreds on the topic of suicide – took place on the anniversary of my mother’s death. And, like I do every year, I strive to create something new that day – put something new into the world whether that’s baking a pie with my girls or something as special as this event. A heartfelt thank you to the Porco family for having me as a part of Jordan’s Journey.

From the event organizers:

About the Event: “Our 2013 Gala was a spectacular event that included exquisite food and drink, heartfelt speeches, outstanding auction items, dedicated volunteers and staff, and endless support from all who attended and sponsored. We raised much needed awareness about suicide and suicide prevention and showcased the work of the Foundation up to this point. We are simply moved by the outpouring of support and cannot express our gratitude enough. Together, we can help prevent suicide.”


About Melissa: “Melissa could not have been a more engaging, passionate, poignant, or inspiring speaker. She has a unique gift of being able to take a tragic event in her life and use it to educate her audience on the prevalence of suicide and the need for suicide prevention, motivate others to support and create change, and instill hope in all who hear her story and her message. Not only is Melissa a powerful speaker and advocate for suicide prevention, but she is also a kind and generous person who was a true pleasure to work with. She took the time to meet us before the event to talk about the work we are doing and was happy and willing to speak at length with anyone who took her aside throughout the night. We are so grateful to Melissa, for she has certainly left an imprint in all of our hearts and the hearts of those who attended our Gala.”


About the Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation

One in 10 college students is considering suicide right now. That leaves nine students to reach out and help some one. The Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit corporation created in the memory of Jordan Matthew Porco, who died by suicide. The organization is located in Andover, CT., where Jordan’s family lives and where Jordan grew up.

The Mission of The Foundation is to prevent suicide in the college and college entry student population that is often the end result of significant emotional disorders triggered by stress and/or not recognized within the person until it is too late.

Through communication and collaboration with existing foundations, programs, universities and private resources, the Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation’s objectives are broadly based on creating awareness within multiple audiences (Students, Parents, Teachers/Administrators, Gatekeepers). Through awareness and education, the Foundation hopes to remove the stigma surrounding suicide, and be a catalyst for open dialogue about how to prevent suicide deaths, particularly among the student-aged population. This is an epidemic, and in many cases a silent one. This silence contributes to the number of lives lost and lives left to grieve.


Melissa with the Porco Family


Melissa with Taylor Porco
Melissa with Maggie Mortali (AFSP) and Shelley Sprague
Melissa with David Smith (auctioneer)
Melissa Keynote Speech at Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation Event
Melissa d’Arabian at Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation Event