For several years, metro Detroit rock band Killer Flamingos held down a regular Sunday night gig at Royal Oak’s Luna.
Fans came and went, but one of their regulars was a guy who lead singer Michelle Katitus describes as “quirky, intelligent, and extremely well-loved” — Dave Thomas.
Some of the funnest evenings the group had with Thomas was his annual birthday party. In short, he loved to celebrate in style — by wearing cut-off jean shorts, eating a bunch of Hot Pockets, and having drinks with his buds.
Then, in August 2015, the Killer Flamingos lost their good friend and fan to suicide, and it hit the group hard. But Katitus says they don't want that to be Thomas's legacy — instead, they want everyone to remember him for the fun, lovable guy that he was.
And to that end, the Killer Flamingos are hosting on July 22 their third annual "Jean Cut-Off Sunday." It's a celebration of Thomas that's filled with Hot Pockets and cut-off jean shorts, as well as sets by the Killer Flamingos and The Underdog.
All proceeds from the fun go to Suck It Suicide, a program that's a part of Six Feet Over. It's the nation's only non-profit that provides direct financial assistance to suicide survivors — people who lost a loved one to suicide. Suck It Suicide helps them navigate the grieving process, pay for funerals, pay for the cleanup of suicide scenes, and is generally changing the stigma of suicide and depression.
Executive Director Kate Hardy tells Metro Times
that an inexpensive funeral runs around $2,000, and clean up costs range between $500 and $2,000. She also notes that one of the "hidden" costs includes taking unpaid time off work taken to arrange funerals and deal with the loss.
Beyond that, Suck it Suicide offers support to an especially vulnerable group — high school kids. Hardy says she sets up an off-campus safe space where kids can go to grieve, which is helpful because schools typically aren't equipped to handle such situations.
The $5 cover charge at Luna's door goes to Suck It Suicide, though people can give more. A "two dollar you call it" drink special runs from 9 p.m to 11 p.m. Hot pockets are on the house and donated by Quizzo. The Killer Flamingos will be bringing the microwaves. If you don't have cut off shorts, bring some jeans and the Flamingos will cut them off for you!
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