For Kevin’s Sake

GOD is working /Choking Game Awareness Ed4Ed organization

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on August 22, 2011

Hello all, I want to share with you an amazing story about GOD’s awesome power and also to give a quick  update on our journey. My apologies for not posting sooner but a great many things have been happening. First off our family is doing well. We still have our moments ( about a thousand a day ) where we miss our boy so bad its overwhelming but overall we are healing. Kathy and I are still working to raise awareness and our daughter Kelly is trying so very hard to be the best she can be. She is actively involved in mentor programs through both her school and The Girl Scouts. She finished her last school year with straight A’s!!!!!

I also wanted to let everyone know that our web site at Ed4Ed is up and going. If you would like to see what we are about please go to www.ed4ed4all.com. There you will find all the information and materials you would need to learn about the choking game. Ed4Ed provides free information and materials for anyone interested in starting your own anti-choking game campaign. Please go to Ed4ED4all.com to see the video we recently completed for a law enforcement convention in Wichita, Kansas.

These police officers were from all over the state of Kansas and all were very involved in youth oriented programs in their respective jurisdictions. It was an amazing opportunity to bring to their attention this deadly activity. I would like to share with you an incredible story about this convention. GOD was working.

It was Thur July 21st. We had been at the convention for 3 days and we were invited as a vendor only. We were not there to speak or present in any way. Just to provide information about TCG. During the previous 2 days we had built many relationships with these fine officers and we were asked if we were going to get to speak at this convention. It had been discussed but there was just no time to fit us in an already tight speaking schedule.

So its Thur morning and one of the police chiefs I had met came up and asked if we had felt any special power that morning. I said as a matter of fact I did so I asked him what was up. He replied that he had said a very special prayer that morning that somehow we would be allowed the chance to speak to these officers. I thanked him with a big hug and continued to load our equipment in and set up. On my 2nd trip in he came back up to me and said that the keynote speaker of the convention had been looking at our display and was very interested in our program. So I got my uniform on and my friend took me in to meet the keynote speaker. His name is Officer Joe Shillacy. www.joeschillacy.com He is one of the stars of the A&E series First 48 Hours.

We walked up to him and I was introduced to him and he and I hit it off immediatly. He was just getting ready to start his 2nd presentation but he had a few minutes so I told him about Kevin and what we at Ed4Ed were doing to raise awareness. He said that as a kid he had some experience with the choking game and also that he felt it was imperative that we continue to educate others about it. He asked if I was going to be able to speak to the officers and I told him most likely no, there just wasnt time. He then asked for one of our DVD’s. He popped it into his projector and told me he was going to let it play for a minute and for me to take a walk with him. He was asking about Kevin and the choking game and I told him how it had evolved over time and with the internet it was spreading to an increasingly younger age group.

He then did an amazing thing. He told me he was going to let the video run for a few minutes and then he was going to introduce me and that I could have a few minutes of HIS presentation time to address these officers. This was HUGE!!!! Many of these officers had not even heard of the choking game.  I spoke for about 7 minutes and afterwards Mr Schillacy asked me if he could use our video in his presentations that he gives to schools around the country. After his presentation was finished I was back at our table and I had many of these officers come up and wanted to know more information.

We gave away over 150 dvds and we even had one officer tell us that back in his jurisdiction he had 4 cases of teen deaths that had been ruled suicide. He said he had felt at the time that they weren’t your typical teen suicides and upon watching our video and talking with us he was going to re-examine those cases because he now felt that they were very possibly not suicides but were in fact TCG. Imagine being the parents of one of those teens finally learning about TCG for the first time and realizing that their child may not have committed suicide after all but had been simply playing TCG.

We also made some other amazing connections with several of the other vendors and directors who were all very interested in learning more about TCG. GOD was working that day and it was through HIS divine power that we were able to share our message. NEVER underestimate the power of prayer! GOD does listen. This is  but one of many stories of doors that God has opened in direct answer to specific prayers. I will be posting more of those amazing events as time allows…Wait until I tell you about the phone call Kevin made 9 months AFTER he died!
For more information about TCG and other high risk activities facing our youth today please go to www.ed4ed4all.com.

For more about Kevin’s life and our story please scroll down this page.

The “choking game” took our Kevin on March 30th, 2009 T

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on April 23, 2009

 

Kevin embracing life

Kevin embracing life

To find out what we have been doing to fight back against the choking game and to see our most recent Today show interview follow the link ” NEWEST TODAY SHOW SEGMENT FEB 8 2010. To learn about our son please read on.
Hello to all, our family has experienced a horrible tragedy. We lost our son Kevin Monday night March 30th to a craze that has invaded our children’s lives, it is called “the choking game”. He was 15. Before I tell you about how he died I would like to tell you a little about how he lived.

He was the perfect son in every way. He was happy and fun loving and caring, He would be the first to jump in with out being asked and help where needed. He loved his family fiercely. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. He was in several plays in school, he loved music, basketball, writing poetry and stories. He loved making swords and models and he was the most honest young man there has ever been. He truly was perfect in every way. We told each other several times a day that we loved each other and we hugged multiple times a day.

Everyone I have talked to has told me how special he was, and you just felt it when you were in his presence. I am just now finding out how truly amazing this kid was. His classmates got to see a side of him I never did because at home he was our baby boy. Home was where he came to be a kid. When he walked out that door every morning he turned into this strong young man that I can now only know through their stories or his journals. His love for other people just reached out to you with out you even knowing it. One of his classmates told us that 5 minutes after she met him she felt she knew him her whole life.

I want to share with you three of the many stories that demonstrate the strength of his soul. When he was 6 my wife had to go pick up her father at the train station in downtown Seattle. He asked if he could have 75 c to go get a bag of chips from the machine. Well the chips got stuck and did not fall out and my wife told him she didn’t have another 75 c to get another bag. A homeless gentleman overheard this and came up and said here you go maam and gave her the money for another bag of chips and walked away. Kevin got his chips and he and his mother went and sat down. Kevin looked across the train station and saw the man that gave him the money and he asked if he could go share those chips with that man, so he walked over and they just sat and talked and ate potato chips, and that man came up to my wife and told her with tears in his eyes that was the kindest thing anyone had ever done for him.

Two summers ago my father and his wife came to see me and we were downtown on the waterfront and were having dinner. A very scary looking woman came up to me and asked for money. She was an obvious addict so I told her that I would not give her money but she could have my meal. She looked past me and walked up to my son he had pulled a ten dollar bill from his wallet, money he earned mowing the lawn, he gave her that money, she said thank you and turned and walked away. We all immediately jumped on him and told him never to do that again, it was a kind gesture but that she was just going to go and buy more drugs or she could have a disease or she could have hurt him. All the things a parent might say in that situation. He got very upset and started crying very softly and was quiet the rest of the night. Later after everyone went to bed he came to me and asked to talk. He told me that he understood why we got mad at him but he just felt that he was supposed to give her that money that somewhere down the road it might make a difference in her life. My eyes filled with tears and I grabbed him and held him to my chest and told him to forget everything we said earlier. That sometimes we adults don’t see things as clearly as a pure soul and his was the purest soul God cold make.

A few months ago he was walking his sister home from the bus stop when a car drove by and yelled something at him and his sister. The car went up the hill and turned around and came back and as the car approached the passenger pulled out a knife and the car slowed down. Kevin grabbed his sister and pushed her behind him and stood to face these two boys ready to do whatever he had to do to protect his sister. The driver yelled an obscenity and drove away.

I want everyone to know this was the way Kevin lived his life everyday. There was no sacrifice too great. No task too big and for those of you that knew him… you experienced it. He had compassion for everyone he met that never wavered not even a little. He stood his ground for what he believed and didn’t care what anyone else thought. We found a statement that Kevin wrote and I think this sums up who he was pretty well. He wrote: “I believe that life is eternal and life is a flame that will never go out. I am a Christian so I believe in God and heaven. I also believe that we go there when our life here is over. I believe that angels are the souls of our loved ones that come to see their families and to watch over them and be close to them and try to help them. This is what I believe.”

Two days before he died he and I were talking. We were sitting at the kitchen table. We would do this quite often late at night. He was asking about a friend of the family that died 6 years ago. She died of cancer. She died in my arms at a hospital in Minot, North Dakota in 2003. We had been friends for over 20 years. At the moment of her death here in Washington, he woke up and came downstairs very upset and told his mom that Norine had just died. He was asking me that night at the table how he knew that. I told him that sometimes people have connections that go beyond what we can hear and see, and that this ability was very strong in the men in our family. I told him it was very strong in him as well, this conversation led to one about sacrifice and I was telling him that there may come a time when I would have to sacrifice my own life for that of another and that he would then have to help take care of his mom and his sister and that I would always be there to help him. And that when I died Norine would be there to greet me. I then told him that if he were to die that she would be there for him as well. He then asked me if he had to sacrifice his life to save his mom and sister would I be ok with that. I said ok with it no because he was my boy and I loved him but if it had to happen then I would be able to accept it because he would be saving the life of his mom and sister and that was the way we raised him. To do what was right. He then asked what if it was a total stranger would I be able to handle that. I told him… well son, again I would not like it and it would hurt me forever but if he felt he had to do that and that the life he saved may go on to do great things then yes I could live with it because that’s what warriors do. He then said that if he had to die he would want it to be saving others. I teach self defense at a karate school in Auburn Wa. and I understand that sometimes one might have to make that ultimate sacrifice to save another and I like to think I will be brave enough when called upon to do that but how many 15 year old boys in today’s day and age would even consider it. This was the man my boy had become.

Our hearts have been destroyed by this loss and when I was at a point where I could not go on when I had reached the bottom of my pain I suddenly felt his love come into my heart and pull the pieces together and I felt him giving me a message. And that message was: “Dad I need to let people know about this. There are other kids just like me that are being reached online and at school and are thinking of trying this. You have to stop it. I didn’t mean to die, I didn’t mean to hurt you and mama and Kelly. I’m so sorry but it’s up to you now to let people know”. And my soul was surrounded with his love.

On the night he died the paramedics said they had his heart beating and he was trying to breath, but I think he was given a choice and knowing Kevin he made the choice to let his death help save other people and if it meant he had to sacrifice himself to do it he would because that was kind of young man he had become and he knows how strong our family is and he knows how strong our friends are and he knows God will get us through this.

I am asking anyone who reads this letter to pass it on or if you don’t like to forward emails then to print this email out and show it to people. And please pray for our son and our family that with Gods love we will survive this. For those of you who have lost a child you understand our grief. For those of you who have not please protect your children and share with them our story and be as graphic and as candid as they can handle so that maybe just maybe we can all stop this. HUNDREDS of kids have died. This “game” is taking our children at an alarming rate and people have got to know! Parents have to be told that this activity is not a fad it is an epidemic that is killing our children. Please scroll down to the section below labeled “How to protect your children from dangers of the choking game”. There you will find the details of how Kevin died and more information on this deadly activity.

I am asking, begging on my knees to anyone that reads this letter. Talk to your children about this activity. Educate yourself about the dangers and what physically occurs in the body as a result of this “game”. Make them aware. Then love them, hold them, shower them with kisses, because we will never again be able to hold his head on our shoulder or smell the scent of his hair or watch his face light up when he smiles or see the twinkle in his eyes or feel his arms around us, or hear again the last words he spoke to me ” I love you too dad”
Help me fight this battle. Pray with all your might, and tell anyone who will listen. Our family will bear this cross that God has asked us to carry but please share our story, our grief, our loss, so that someone you know and love will not have to experience this unspeakable, unbearable, unending pain. And then my son’s death will not be in vain.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” – Nelson Mandela

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity~Horace Mann

Update:
As a direct result of Gods power and this email our story was aired on two local news channels, in multiple online news sites and in two local newspapers. We were also able to spread this message on the Today Show in New York which aired Fri April 24th. We were able to reach millions of people..but… there are millions more that STILL have not heard of this activity. And with summer coming, it is imperative that we get this word out or our tragic senseless loss will be repeated by another family somewhere. For more information we have a blog site..
http://www.forkevinssake.wordpress.com..
This site has links to much more information about this activity and there is also a copy of this email there that you can copy and paste and send. Please help continue to spread this word until every parent and every school knows the truth about this activity. Thank you.
Ken Tork

How can we protect our children from the “choking game”?

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on April 21, 2009

 I am about to share something with you about my sons death that you might find uncomfortable to read but if you love your child like so many of you know we did then I beg of you to read on. He was experimenting with “a very dangerous craze that has been invading our schools for YEARS, a craze that we as parents knew nothing about but has been steadily growing in popularity amongst our kids. It is called THE CHOKING GAME and even though we protected our son with all the armor a parent can, someone got to him. Someone told him it was ok to do this “GAME”. That someone helped kill my son. I have been finding out some things about it in the last few months that I want to share. Hopefully by the time you finish reading this you too will know about it and will then have an idea of how to protect your children.
 Hundreds and hundreds of kids have died playing this game. There are websites that tell them exactly how to do it, not to tell their parents or counselors or teachers, how to get the materials, how to make the materials, how to clear the history on their computers so their parents wont find out, how to use code words like choke out, the game, spider monkey, spunky monkey, etc.  They even say where to do it, in empty class rooms, bathrooms, dad’s garage, the basement. I read that one of the “rules” of this game is that when they have a “choking party” everyone has to play and if someone won’t play then they have to leave and that they are no longer considered friends. This peer pressure during the teen years is a very strong motivator that can drive a normal kid to do the most abnormal things. It continued on to say that if your parents tell you it’s unsafe, don’t believe them they aren’t cool enough to know. I read one site that said to take one of dads old ties and tie it around a doorknob, to lock the door and sit in front of it so your parents or siblings cannot come in, then to play their itunes really loud and party on!
 We also learned that 90% of the fatalities are boys because girls tend to participate in larger groups. Either way it can be deadly. Two of the most shocking things we have found out are that most parents have never heard of it and if they did hear of it they didn’t listen long enough to find out what it was or they believed that their kid would never do something like this. The other is that the schools do not want anyone to come and talk about it because they are afraid it might put ideas in their heads. TOO LATE! Schools and churches are the two most common places these kids learn about it. approx 25 % of the kids surveyed that admitted to participating in THE CHOKING GAME state that they do this do it at school regularly! I have even had one parent tell me about a church youth leader showing them how to do it at a church retreat! I even found a picture of a young man doing it at church camp and he later died trying it alone.
It is imperative that we as parents DEMAND that our schools include education about this activity as they do other risky behavior. One of my sons friends told me this ” one of the things that upsets me about adults is that they think we are stupid, we are young we are not stupid. If they want us to know the truth about something tell us the truth about it. Tell us about this stuff BEFORE we are at a party somewhere having our friends pressure us into trying something that might hurt us because they might not know themselves that it is dangerous. Its better if we learn about it from our parents or our teachers than it would be to find out in the back room of somebody’s house.”
I have completed 5 presentations here in the Seattle area and the feedback from the kids has been very encouraging ..things like
” Thank you Mr.Tork. I have done this before but I will never do it again now that I know it can kill me”. or ” because you came to our school I now know what to look for and will say no if anybody tries to get me to do it.” One girl said. “I think you should come to our school every year and tell everyone from 6th grade up”.
Education is imperative to learning and the time to talk to your kids is now before someone maybe even your child dies.! its time to bring this deadly craze out in the open.
If you have not been there already please follow the link to the DB foundation website on the right side of this page. Up in the left corner of their opening page you will see a link to “victims”. Please scroll through that list and you will see who is dying from this. You will see your child in those faces because those are the faces of every child everywhere.
There are many parents out there who will say ” my son/ daughter knows better I don’t need to talk to them.” Yea, I thought that too but you know what ..they don’t know better! Let me tell you why. Their friends are telling them its safe and fun because they see people doing it on the internet. They are not being told otherwise and we ASSUME that they will “just figure it out”. Well they aren’t figuring it out. They are dying from it. Another myth is that if we tell them about it they will run out and try it .WRONG!!! They already know about it! what they dont know is the TRUTH about it.
Since my son passed last March there have been another 58 suspected cases and we believe we only hear of about 20% of the actual cases..Do the math!
The bottom line is if the education system wont tell your kids them its up to you. As a parent who lost an amazing gifted involved child I cna tell you I really wish someone had told me or my kid about this BEFORE it was introduced to him as ” safe & fun”.
Fathers you need to be willing to invade your child’s privacy, you need to monitor and talk to your children graphically. Spot check the history on the computers. TAKE IT OUT OF THEIR ROOMS IF IT IS IN THERE, block YOU tube so that if they need to go there they do it with you present. Don’t let them talk on chat lines even if it is in a “safe” game environment. They will not talk to you about this unless you start the conversation. Almost every teenage boy I talked to have said they know of it or have played it and would never be able to tell their parents for fear of getting in trouble. I just like most of you didn’t know how deadly or widespread this activity was and I truly believed that my kids were safe. Surely the schools knew about this. Surely they talked about it. They talk about everything else. I was wrong!
The GASP web site states that the most effective tool against this are the kids talking to the families of those that have died. dont be one of those families! Kevin went to Issaquah high school here in Washington state. There were about 100-150 kids up there at his funeral. I believe that most of them are now pretty safe and if you read about the conversation I had with my son before he died, Kevin has saved those kids but what about next year, what about the kids that weren’t there,the ones that that didn’t know Kevin. They are in school today maybe doing it right now as I write this post! How do we reach them? We as parents need to go in force and DEMAND that our schools talk about this. TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN. SAY SOMETHING! TELL THEM THE TRUTH!!!
There is nothing I would not do to have just one more minute to tell my boy how proud I am of the man he was. To run my fingers through his hair, to see his whole body jiggle when he thought something was funny, to share a joke that only he and I got, to do just one more thing together as father and son. To ride our 4 wheelers around the yard JUST ONE MORE TIME!. To one more time sit at the table late at night in the dark and just talk, to hear him say just one more time “I love you too dad”.
Please don’t go back to your lives and forget Kevin Tork. He would have sacrificed himself for any one of your children and never thought twice about it. Cherish every second you have with your child. Our world changed on Monday March 30th at6:37 pm When will yours change? Which one of you will be next? Help me stop this deadly, fatal activity before it takes your child. 
Let me leave you with this. I had a customer email me just yesterday about a conversation that took place in the back of her best friends car. Her friends daughter was sitting with a friend and the friend said ” let me show you this neat game I learned today. I put my hands around your neck and squeeze until you get dizzy. Its really fun and it feels good.” Both girls are 7 yrs old. So if you think it cant happen to your child ..Think again!I can be reached at kltork@yahoo.com. Thank you

Ed4Ed4all

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on August 22, 2011

Hello all, I just wanted to drop in and update our blog site. My apologies for not posting sooner but a great many things have been happening. First off our family is doing well. We still have our moments ( about a thousand a day ) where we miss our boy so bad its overwhelming but overall we are healing. Kathy and I are still working to raise awareness and our daughter Kelly is trying so very hard to be the best she can be. She is actively involved in mentor programs through both her school and The Girl Scouts.
I wanted to let everyone know that our web site at Ed4Ed is up and going. If you would like to see what we are about please go to ed4ed4all.com. There you will find all the information and materials you would need to learn about the choking game. Ed4Ed provides free information and materials for anyone interested in starting your own anti-choking game campaign. Please go to Ed4ED4all.com to see the video we recently completed for a law enforcement convention in Wichita, Kansas.
These police officers were from all over the state and all were very involved in youth oriented programs in their respective jurisdictions. It was an amazing opportunity to bring to their attention this deadly activity. I would like to share with you an incredible story about this convention. GOD was working.
It was Thur July 21st. We had been at the convention for 3 days and we were invited as a vendor only. We were not there to speak or present in any way. Just to provide information about TCG. During the previous 2 days we had built many relationships with these fine officers and we were asked if we were going to get to speak at this convention. It had been discussed but there was just no time to fit us in an already tight speaking schedule. So its Thur morning and one of the police chiefs I had met came up and asked if we had felt any special power that morning. I said as a matter of fact I did so I asked him what was up. He replied that he had said a very special prayer that morning that somehow we would be allowed the chance to speak to these officers. I thanked him with a big hug and continued to load our equipment in and set up. On my 2nd trip in he came back up to me and said that the keynote speaker of the convention had been looking at our display and was very interested in our program. So I got my uniform on and my friend took me in to meet the keynote speaker. His name is Officer Joe Shillacy. ( http://www.joeschillacy.com) He is one of the stars of the A&E series First 48 Hours.
We walked up to him and I was introduced to him and he and I hit it off immediatly.He was just getting ready to start his 2nd presentation but he had a few minutes so I told him about Kevin and what we at Ed4Ed were doing to raise awareness. He said that as a kid he had some experience with the choking game and also that he felt it was imperative that we continue to educate others about it. He asked if I was going to be able to speak to the officers and I told him most likely no, there just wasnt time. He then asked for one of our DVD’s. He popped it into his projector and told me he was going to let it play for a minute and for me to take a walk with him. he was asking about Kevin and the choking game and how it had evolved over time and with the internet it was spreading to an increasingly younger age group. He then did an amazing thing. He told me he was going to let the video run for a few minutes and then he was going to introduce me and that I could have a few minutes of HIS presentation time to address these officers. This was HUGE!!!! Many of these officers had not even heard of the choking game. Well I spoke for about 7 minutes and afterwards Mr Schillacy asked me if he could use our video in his presentations that he gives to schools around the country. After his presentation was finished I was back our table and I had many of these officers come up and wanted to know more information.
We gave away over 150 dvds and we even had one officer tell us that back in his jurisdiction he had 4 cases of teen deaths that had been ruled suicide but upon watching our video and talking with us he was going to re-examine those cases because he felt they weren’t typical teen suicides and were very possibly TCG. Imagine being the parents of one of those teens finally learning about TCG for the first time and realizing that their child may not have committed suicide after all but had been simply playing TCG.
We also made some other amazing connections with several of the other vendors and directors who were all very interested in learning more about TCG. GOD was working that day and it was through HIS divine power that we were able to share our message. NEVER underestimate the power of prayer! GOD does listen. This but one of many stories of doors that God has opened in direct answer to specific prayers. I will be posting more of those amazing events as time allows..wait until I tell you about the phone call Kevin made 9 months AFTER he died!
For more information about TCG and other high risk activities facing our youth today please go to ed4ed4all.com.

How to use OpenDNS to provide boundaries for your kids internet access

Posted in Uncategorized by twelti on February 8, 2010

A MESSAGE TO PARENTS

Of course, as parents we might not all agree on exactly what we should allow our kids to access on the internet.  But most of us would agree  that there should be SOME limits.  If you don’t think so, maybe you aren’t really aware of what’s out there.   A quick perusal of something like ogrish.com will give you some idea.   These sites are full of disturbing content and miss-information (not to mention many have nasty virus’s etc. which can get on your computer by just visiting the website once).

If you want to protect your kids, there are several things you can do.  We keep our kids’ computer out in the living room so we can literally keep an eye on them.  It’s not like we hover over them and watch their every move, but I think it does discourage them from inappropriate activity.   We also use something called OpenDNS to limit access to the net.   For those not familiar with how DNS servers work, let me briefly explain.  Whenever you type in an address to your internet browser that you want to go to, such as www.yahoo.com, that address is really an alias for the true address for Yahoo, which is a number like 69.147.76.15.  It’s kind of like the difference between John Brown’s house and 123 Main st.  Anyway when you type in www.yahoo.com, and hit enter, that ‘alias’ is sent out to a computer somewhere called a DNS server.  That computer is like a phone book which takes the alias and looks up the actual address to ‘connect’ you browser to. Normally your internet provider provides the DNS server, and you won’t be aware of it. OpenDNS is an alternative that you can easily switch to . It allows you to easily restrict access to various different categories of content.   It’s very easy to set up, you just have to change a setting on your router to tell it to use OpenDNS.  Going to www.opendns.com you will see instructions on how to do this.  It takes only a few minutes to set it up.  One big advantage is that  you make the change on your router, and only you have the password for your router, so you have complete control of ANY and ALL computers in your house (including iPod touch, your kids friends laptop they brought over, or any device using your wifi).   OpenDNS also claims that your internet access will be faster and more reliable.  Our experience seems to support that.   When I had a question at one point, the OpenDNS support did respond fairly quickly.  Standard disclaimer applies:  we  are not connected in any way to OpenDNS, just satisfied customers :-))

OpenDNS also has some phishing and botnet protection and some other useful features.  And best of all it’s free!  So, if you are reading this, maybe it’s time to look into it.  I hope this didn’t sound too much like a commercial for OpenDNS, I’m sure there are other options (Webnanny etc) that work well too.  I’m just mentioning OpenDNS since we use it, and it works extremely well.  There really no excuse not to exert some control over what your kids are exposed to on the internet.  You have the power to set the limits however you see fit. To find out more about whats being done to fight the choking game go watch our most recent TODAY show segment which aired Feb 8th. You will find it in the links tab under NEWEST TODAY SHOW SEGMENT. Check it out.

Best wishes to all and be safe.

Todd Welti

Today Show – Feb 8 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on February 8, 2010

Video Feed – Please Watch & Share : http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/35294290#35294290

should I talk to my kids about THE CHOKING GAME?

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on February 5, 2010

I am about to share something with you about my sons death that you might find uncomfortable to read but if you love your child like so many of you know we did then I beg of you to read on. He was experimenting with ”a very dangerous craze that has been invading our schools for YEARS, a craze that we as parents knew nothing about but has been steadily growing in popularity amongst our kids. It is called THE CHOKING GAME and even though we protected our son with all the armor a parent can, someone got to him. Someone told him it was ok to do this “GAME”. That someone helped kill my son. I have been finding out some things about it in the last few months that I want to share. Hopefully by the time you finish reading this you too will know about it and will then have an idea of how to protect your children.
Hundreds and hundreds of kids have died playing this game. There are websites that tell them exactly how to do it, not to tell their parents or counselors or teachers, how to get the materials, how to make the materials, how to clear the history on their computers so their parents wont find out, how to use code words like choke out, the game, spider monkey, spunky monkey, etc. They even say where to do it, in empty class rooms, bathrooms, dad’s garage, the basement. I read that one of the “rules” of this game is that when they have a ”choking party” everyone has to play and if someone won’t play then they have to leave and that they are no longer considered friends. This peer pressure during the teen years is a very strong motivator that can drive a normal kid to do the most abnormal things. It continued on to say that if your parents tell you it’s unsafe, don’t believe them they aren’t cool enough to know. I read one site that said to take one of dads old ties and tie it around a doorknob, to lock the door and sit in front of it so your parents or siblings cannot come in, then to play their itunes really loud and party on!
We also learned that 90% of the fatalities are boys because girls tend to participate in larger groups. Either way it can be deadly. Two of the most shocking things we have found out are that most parents have never heard of it and if they did hear of it they didn’t listen long enough to find out what it was or they believed that their kid would never do something like this. The other is that the schools do not want anyone to come and talk about it because they are afraid it might put ideas in their heads. TOO LATE! Schools and churches are the two most common places these kids learn about it. approx 25 % of the kids surveyed that admitted to participating in THE CHOKING GAME state that they do this do it at school regularly! I have even had one parent tell me about a church youth leader showing them how to do it at a church retreat! I even found a picture of a young man doing it at church camp and he later died trying it alone.
It is imperative that we as parents DEMAND that our schools include education about this activity as they do other risky behavior. One of my sons friends told me this ” one of the things that upsets me about adults is that they think we are stupid, we are young we are not stupid. If they want us to know the truth about something tell us the truth about it. Tell us about this stuff BEFORE we are at a party somewhere having our friends pressure us into trying something that might hurt us because they might not know themselves that it is dangerous. Its better if we learn about it from our parents or our teachers than it would be to find out in the back room of somebody’s house.”
I have completed 5 presentations here in the Seattle area and the feedback from the kids has been very encouraging ..things like
” Thank you Mr.Tork. I have done this before but I will never do it again now that I know it can kill me”. or ” because you came to our school I now know what to look for and will say no if anybody tries to get me to do it.” One girl said. “I think you should come to our school every year and tell everyone from 6th grade up”.
Education is imperative to learning and the time to talk to your kids is now before someone maybe even your child dies.! its time to bring this deadly craze out in the open.
If you have not been there already please follow the link to the DB foundation website on the right side of this page. Up in the left corner of their opening page you will see a link to “victims”. Please scroll through that list and you will see who is dying from this. You will see your child in those faces because those are the faces of every child everywhere.
There are many parents out there who will say ” my son/ daughter knows better I don’t need to talk to them.” Yea, I thought that too but you know what ..they don’t know better! Let me tell you why. Their friends are telling them its safe and fun because they see people doing it on the internet. They are not being told otherwise and we ASSUME that they will “just figure it out”. Well they aren’t figuring it out. They are dying from it. Another myth is that if we tell them about it they will run out and try it .WRONG!!! They already know about it! what they dont know is the TRUTH about it.
Since my son passed last March there have been another 58 suspected cases and we believe we only hear of about 20% of the actual cases..Do the math!
The bottom line is if the education system wont tell your kids them its up to you. As a parent who lost an amazing gifted involved child I cna tell you I really wish someone had told me or my kid about this BEFORE it was introduced to him as ” safe & fun”.
Fathers you need to be willing to invade your child’s privacy, you need to monitor and talk to your children graphically. Spot check the history on the computers. TAKE IT OUT OF THEIR ROOMS IF IT IS IN THERE, block YOU tube so that if they need to go there they do it with you present. Don’t let them talk on chat lines even if it is in a “safe” game environment. They will not talk to you about this unless you start the conversation. Almost every teenage boy I talked to have said they know of it or have played it and would never be able to tell their parents for fear of getting in trouble. I just like most of you didn’t know how deadly or widespread this activity was and I truly believed that my kids were safe. Surely the schools knew about this. Surely they talked about it. They talk about everything else. I was wrong!
The GASP web site states that the most effective tool against this are the kids talking to the families of those that have died. dont be one of those families! Kevin went to Issaquah high school here in Washington state. There were about 100-150 kids up there at his funeral. I believe that most of them are now pretty safe and if you read about the conversation I had with my son before he died, Kevin has saved those kids but what about next year, what about the kids that weren’t there,the ones that that didn’t know Kevin. They are in school today maybe doing it right now as I write this post! How do we reach them? We as parents need to go in force and DEMAND that our schools talk about this. TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN. SAY SOMETHING! TELL THEM THE TRUTH!!!
There is nothing I would not do to have just one more minute to tell my boy how proud I am of the man he was. To run my fingers through his hair, to see his whole body jiggle when he thought something was funny, to share a joke that only he and I got, to do just one more thing together as father and son. To ride our 4 wheelers around the yard JUST ONE MORE TIME!. To one more time sit at the table late at night in the dark and just talk, to hear him say just one more time “I love you too dad”.
Please don’t go back to your lives and forget Kevin Tork. He would have sacrificed himself for any one of your children and never thought twice about it. Cherish every second you have with your child. Our world changed on Monday March 30th at6:37 pm When will yours change? Which one of you will be next? Help me stop this deadly, fatal activity before it takes your child.
Let me leave you with this. I had a customer email me just yesterday about a conversation that took place in the back of her best friends car. Her friends daughter was sitting with a friend and the friend said ” let me show you this neat game I learned today. I put my hands around your neck and squeeze until you get dizzy. Its really fun and it feels good.” Both girls are 7 yrs old. So if you think it cant happen to your child ..Think again!I can be reached at kltork@yahoo.com. Thank you

ED 4 ED

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on February 5, 2010

Ed 4 Ed is a volunteer group of advocates dedicated to stopping the choking game and other deadly risk behavior such as huffing, emo etc. Our program allows you the layperson to have a powerful voice in preventing the needless death or injury of our precious children by providing you with accurate information and easy to use resources that can give you the ability to save lives. Please visit the ED 4 ED blog site to learn more about our program and how you can become a part of a growing network of advocates and how you can help make a difference.

The Tork family 6 month update

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on October 6, 2009

Hello everyone,
Well we just passed the 6 month mark and we felt it was time to send everyone an update on how we are doing. If you had asked us back then we would have told you we would never make it this far and we would have been very wrong. Not only are we still making it it but we are actually doing ok considering the depth of our loss. God is with us and protecting us! I want to personally thank all of you from the depths of my soul for everything you have done for my family and I. You helped us initially spread the word about our tragedy and we believe beyond any doubt that YOU helped save countless lives by helping us bring this activity out of hiding. God has made his presence felt in many miraculous ways during our journey and with the many things we have seen our faith grows stronger day by day. We made a vow to each other the night that Kevin died that we would not let this tragedy tear us away from God or from each other ever and we are healing as a family. It was however all your thoughts and prayers that also helped us to be strong enough to get to that point where we could start to heal. There just arent words to describe the gratitude we feel for what you all have done for us.
I would also like to update you on the battle we are fighting to stop the choking game. Some of you may not know this but through Gods power and through your efforts to fwd our story we were able to get all the way to the Today show in New York just 3 weeks after Kevin passed. We also had two local Tv interviews and two articles printed in the Issaquah press. We also found out later that our story spread across this country like a firestorm and was picked up by countless online news agencies and many newspapers. I cannot even begin to imagine how many people read about Kevin and then told others. We received hundreds of emails thanking us for having the courage to speak out and I was able to speak at two local schools right before school let out last year. And none of it would have happened with out YOUR help and I would like each of you to know YOU helped save lives!
But despite all the efforts to get the awareness out there, kids are still dying, and many many people still have never heard of this until it hits close to home. We have had 28 reported deaths since Kevin died. We believe that only about 10 % of the choking game deaths actually make the news. If that math is correct that about 280 kids world wide since March 30th.
I was contacted two weeks ago by a mom in Tennessee who lost her oldest son Aug 3rd of this year. He was 1 month away from his 18 th birthday. She found our story online and she told me that before she read about us she didn’t know there were others out there who had experienced the same thing she did. She didn’t know there were other families that had the same incredible relationships with their kids as she had with hers only to have them taken away by this “game”. After reading our story she said her faith was renewed and her determination grew and she found the courage to speak out as well. She did a newspaper interview last wed and her husband and her son are probably going to do a local tv interview this week. I mention this because it was through YOUR help that she was able to find our story and was able to find some comfort in an otherwise unbearable agonizing pain.
During the month of Aug between the 3rd and the 11th there were 4 deaths reported. Out of respect for the families I will not mention last names but they were Jay( 17) Mayia (15), Travis (15), and Gordon (13). The worst part was they were all exactly like Kevin, good kids, smart kids, amazing kids!
These families are just now starting on this same journey of loss, and it is for those families that have yet to experience the loss of their amazing children that I want to ask you again to help us continue to spread the word about this activity. We have a blog site: forkevinssake.wordpress.com
Our story is there on that site. You can also find the links to the media events as well as links to other choking game websites. There is one in particular I would like to ask each of you to go see. Its: http://www.thechokinggame.net On the upper left side of the home page is a section marked “victims”. I would like to ask that you scroll through that list and see for yourself how many have made that list alone, and remember this is only about 10 % of the actual number of kids that have died. I know this is an uncomfortable subject and if you are not comfortable with this its ok. We don’t want to place any undo pressure on anyone. Please understand though its not just for our children that we ask this of you. Our children are with God. Its for your children and the children of your friends and family that we ask this of you.
I know in today’s world God is not always a strong presence in day to day life and it always seems to be a deep tragedy that has to unfold to bring us back to him. Its always him we turn to first. We are a prime example of that process. We want to tell you though that God does exist. We will not list here the many miracles we have seen but we will happily share with you what we have experienced. I do though want to tell you that without Gods power and love we would not be doing well at all. He comforts us and guides us and he makes things happen to help us even though we dont always see it. People keep telling us how strong WE are. We are not strong. We are only strong with his help. I owe everything to him and I beg each of you to say a prayer of thanks to him for what he has given you. If the sea of life has caused you to drift away from him then I beg of you to paddle back. Get him back in your lives BEFORE a tragedy strikes. We don’t question why this has happened to us anymore. We were given those answers but we do wonder if God had been in our lives more that maybe we would have given to our son different knowledge and just maybe he would have been better prepared to deal with the temptation to try this so called fun, safe “game”. We miss that boy beyond words but we do thank God each day for the 15 incredible years we had with him and we also thank him for allowing us to have each of you in our lives as well.
I am so honored to be in this community and I am humbled by the power of the support you so freely gave to us and I believe that each of you has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life. Please share this email with every one you feel comfortable sending it to. Please stand with me and together we can stop this senseless tragic lie that is the choking game. If anyone would like to talk with us personally please don’t hesitate to contact us we would love to hear from you.May God watch over each of you and protect your very precious children.
Thank you.
Ken Kathy Kevin & Kelly Tork

How to protect your children from you unrestricted access to dangerous sites like You Tube

Posted in Uncategorized by kltork on April 28, 2009

step 1- open your anti virus control panel.

step- open Internet control options.

step 3 -open parental control options

step 4- open restricted sites/ blocked sites/  keywords

step 5- type in name of sites you have found that you want blocked IE; you tube, rotten.com, ogreish etc.. look for any sites you can find with dangerous activity

step 6- type in resticted content / key words etc .. for anything related to the choking game/ pass out game/space monkey etc

step 7- password protect parental controls

step 8 – got to www.opendns.com  this is a website that allows you to monitor any site your computer goes to from any computer anywhere. set up with a password that only you know.

All of these things above are helpful  but the only true way you can protect your kids is to take action on your own to do so. Educate them against the realistic dangers of this activity. Show them the video scroll of all the children who have died from this “game”.  Also you need to know that You Tube and video sites like You Tube can be masked by other sites that have these sites embedded within them so it will be very difficult if not impossible to eliminate all ways for them to access these sites.  But you can make it as difficult as possible for them to get there and spot check their computers in their presence. Be willing to occasionally violate their privacy!  Funerals are much harder to deal with than frustration. Most kids will not volunteer that they have tried any of this type of deadly activity. Most younger participants learn it from older friends and siblings and will believe them when they say it is safe. Please don’t assume your sweet dear angel would never do this. I would have staked my life  on the fact my son would never do this..in fact I did..and I lost. Talk to your children about the dangers but educate YOURSELF to the danger signs and then look for them diligently until your children are no longer in your immediate care. Be their parent first then their friend. Tell your children that you are now watching and explain to them why. Have them read our story and watch our segments on the news and the Today show. GO TO YOUR LOCAL SCHOOLS AND DEMAND THAT THEY ADDRESS THIS ISSUE!!!!. Please be diligent so you will not have to face the never ending pain of losing your child.

Today Show “Choking Game” Deaths Story

Posted in Uncategorized by uppendahl on April 24, 2009

If you missed The Today Show’s “Choking Game” story about the needless death of Kevin and other kids, you can read and watch it online by clicking here.

Learn more about risks and prevention of The Choking Game online at http://www.ed4ed4all.com

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