Ronda Hatefi founded Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization in 1995. Chair of Lane County Problem Gambling Advisory Committee since 2003, and member of Lane County Mental Health Promotions Board, (formally called Suicide Prevention Committee) for 10 years. Ronda has petitioned and received a signed proclamation by the Governor of Oregon every year since 1997, declaring September 29th Problem Gamblers Awareness Day. She had the first recognized day for problem gambling in the United States which laid the ground work for a National Problem Gamblers Awareness Week in March. She has received a Champion in Volunteer award from Lane County and a Leadership and Dedication for Problem Gambling Awareness award from Oregon Health Authority.
The Story – the beginning
July of 1995 changed our lives forever. My 28 year old brother Bobby could no longer handle the addiction of gambling. He chose to take his own life after his calls for help failed.
My Mom was happily married to my Dad for 54 years, they had 5 children, and 10 grandchildren. Bob had a big circle of support around him. We have learned now how we could have better supported him, by educating ourselves. We thought that by making him realize what he was doing, or by helping him find a new “hobby” that he would be okay. What we didn’t understand is that his illness did not allow him to feel or see the support we offered. It was not as simple as….