Press Releases

Sandy Hook Promise Releases Statement on Latest CDC Report About Increased Number and Severity of School Homicides

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Releases Statement on Latest CDC Report

About Increased Number and Severity of School Homicides

 

February 1, 2019 -- Newtown, CT – Last week, the Centers for Disease Control released its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report confirming that school homicides across the country have become more common and deadlier. It is reported that guns were used in 95 percent of school-linked homicides with multiple victims.

 

In response to this report, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading national gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:

 

“According to this study, an American student’s likelihood of dying in a school shooting is the highest rate it has ever been. This is wholly unacceptable, especially when we all have the means to stop violence before it occurs,” Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “We have started 2019 with good momentum to help curb this uptick in violence in our schools with the introduction of the background checks bill in Congress, the passage of Extreme Risk Protection Orders in NY, the introduction of the Safety and Violence Education for Students Act in MA, and the introduction of Ethan’s Law in CT, but there is still much work to be done within every community and school. While reactive measures are good to have in place for imminent danger, we also need to ensure that students, educators, and parents ‘Know the Signs’ of at-risk behaviors and how to properly intervene before violence occurs.”

 

According to the study, in 1994 to 2018 there were 38 school rampages that resulted in multiple fatalities, however, five of those occurred during the 2017-2018 academic year -- including the shootings at Parkland, FL and Santa Fe, TX.

 

The CDC report also states that the motives for most violence in schools point to typical teenage stressors, such as reacting to a bully, rivalry between peer groups, interpersonal disputes, a bad grade, or romantic break-ups. All of these incidents can be diffused without violence if youth and adults know the signs to look out for and how to properly intervene. It is known that when firearms are more readily available, these incidents can escalate to become more lethal, and according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, one in three U.S. home with children under 18 has a firearm and 43 percent of those homes, it is kept unlocked and loaded.

More than 5.5 million people have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Passage of Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation in New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Passage of Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation in

New York

 

January 30, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Yesterday, the New York state legislature passed, S. 2451 and A. 2689, part of a package of gun violence prevention measures to further strengthen the state’s gun laws, including a bill to establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).

 

In response to this passage, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading national gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:

 

“Extreme Risk Protection Orders are a critical tool for law enforcement and families who are often the first to see the signs and signals of someone who may be violent and need a way to take action quickly to stop a tragedy before it happens. We applaud the New York state legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo for making this a priority and passing this life-saving legislation,” says Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

 

ERPOs allow law enforcement and family members to petition a judge to temporarily separate an individual from a firearm when they are at risk of harming themselves or someone else. ERPOs have been proven to help avert suicides and other acts of gun violence and have been passed in 13 other states. Sandy Hook Promise views ERPOs as a key part of ending the growing number of school shootings and overall epidemic of gun violence in our country.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

SHP Endorses Ethan's Law in Connecticut

Sandy Hook Promise Endorses the Introduction of Ethan’s Law in Connecticut

 

Following the tragic death of Ethan Song in 2018, new legislation was introduced in the Connecticut State House by Representative Sean Scanlon last week. Ethan’s Law (H.B. 5345) would strengthen safe firearm storage requirements in Connecticut by closing state loopholes on criminal liability for unsafe storage of a firearm that results in the death of a minor under age 18.

In response to this legislation, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement:

“The loss of Ethan Song is a reminder of the risks unsecured guns pose to young people of all ages,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel, who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “While there is no single law that can put an end to gun violence, safe storage is one critical and commonsense approach to ensuring the safety of our children and communities. We applaud the leadership of Rep. Sean Scanlon and the Song family to help pass this critical bill that will undoubtedly save lives.”

This bill would fix a loophole in current law, which states that criminal liability can only be imposed if a gun is stored loaded. Ethan’s Law would close this loophole by clarifying that the law also applies to unloaded guns. Ethan’s Law further extends these protections to all children by changing the definition of minor from children ages 16 and under, to children ages 18 and under.

According to a 2018 study by scholars at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, 4.6 million minors in the U.S. live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm. Further, surveys by the Department of Family and Community Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital have shown that three out of four children know the location of their parent’s gun in the home, and one out of every three children admitted to handling the gun unsupervised. Without strong policy action, these statistics represent countless tragedies waiting to happen.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Introduction of SAVE Students Act in Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Introduction of

SAVE Students Act in Massachusetts

 

Newtown, CT - January 22, 2019 - Today, Sandy Hook Promise applauded the introduction of the Safety and Violence Education for Students (SAVE Students) Act in the Massachusetts State House and Senate. This new legislation in Massachusetts is aimed at combating the crisis of violence, bullying, and suicide that is devastating our nation’s schools. If passed, this bill would set a new national standard for statewide school safety programming.

 

In response to the introduction of this legislation, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement: “We know school violence is preventable when we teach youth and adults to ‘know the signs’ of violence and suicide and get help to stop a tragedy before it happens,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “This legislation would protect Massachusetts’ students across the state and create a national model for prevention that empowers our youth to help save lives.”

 

The SAVE Students Act was introduced by State Senator Barry Finegold of Andover and State Representative Natalie Higgins of Leominster last week in the Massachusetts Senate and House. The legislation would require that all middle and high school students in the state have access to evidence-based programming that teaches how to combat social isolation and build inclusive community, identify the signs and signals of interpersonal violence and suicide, and how to reach out for help. It would also establish a statewide anonymous reporting system to collect tips and information about potential threats to the safety of Massachusetts students.

 

Additionally, the SAVE Students Act would ensure that all Massachusetts schools have a designated school threat assessment team that is trained on how to identify and intervene when threats of violence are made and how to get students help before a crisis.  The establishment of school threat assessment teams was a leading recommendation from mental health and safety experts following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

 

“All students should be able to learn and grow in environments that are inclusive, supportive, and free of violence,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “My office is honored to be partnering with Sandy Hook Promise to implement a $1 million grant to expand school-based violence prevention programs, mental health training, and suicide prevention to nearly 140,000 students across Massachusetts. There is nothing more important than protecting the safety and wellness of our young people, and this bill is an important step forward.”

 

“What happened in Sandy Hook and far too many times since can never happen again. This legislation is a pro-active approach to help kids before they do harm to themselves or to others,” said Massachusetts Senator Barry R. Finegold.

 

"Students play an integral role in ending stigma around mental health and can have the most impact in changing school culture. I am excited to work with Sandy Hook Promise on the SAVE Students Act to help Massachusetts students build stronger community, identify the signs and signals of violence and suicide, and support each other in creating safer schools," said State Rep. Natalie Higgins of Leominster, who is sponsoring the bill in the House.

 

To date, more than 5.5 million people nationwide have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted countless school shooting plots, teen suicides, and other acts of violence.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing parents, schools, and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene, and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications

Stephanie Morris

stephanie@dvmcpr.com

646-650-5005

 

Sandy Hook Promise Commends Bipartisan Introduction of Background Checks Legislation in Congress, Urges Swift Passage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sandy Hook Promise Commends Bipartisan Introduction of Background Checks Legislation in Congress, Urges Swift Passage 

Newtown, CT – January 8, 2019 – Today, bipartisan legislation was introduced that would expand the background check requirement for gun sales to nearly all sales occurring in the U.S., including so-called “private sales” that occur at gun shows and over the internet. Current loopholes in our nation’s laws allow 25% of all guns to be bought without a background check. Background checks have been proven to save lives and have been shown to reduce levels of gun violence in states that have expanded background checks to all sales. 

Sandy Hook Promise praises U.S. Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY), along with 8 other Republican and Democratic Representatives, for introducing H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), along with 39 other Senators, for introducing the Background Check Expansion Act.  

In response, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement: 

“Since the shooting that killed my sweet little Daniel and took 25 more precious lives, Sandy Hook Promise has been working with Republicans and Democrats to pass meaningful laws to prevent gun violence and has made the strengthening of our background checks system a top priority,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.  “While our country may be divided on many issues, we all want to feel safe. The vast majority of us agree that, if you are flagged in a background check, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. Today, we call on Congress to come together and honor their promise to protect our children by passing this lifesaving legislation once and for all.” 

Sandy Hook Promise has been a leader in the call for Congressional action on background checks and bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation since its founding in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012 and has helped pass over a dozen bipartisan laws at the state level to strengthen background checks and create Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Sandy Hook Promise also proudly led the work to pass the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act of 2018 (H.R. 4909/S. 2495) that will train millions of students and adults to Know the Signs of gun violence and how to act to prevent it.  

More than 5.5 million people have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.  

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation.  

For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780. 

 

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Media Contact:  

Dini von Mueffling Communications  

Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com  | 646-650-5005 

 

 

SHP Statement on MSD High School Public Safety Commission Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sandy Hook Promise Statement on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission Report

 

Newtown, CT – January 8, 2019 – The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission recently released its initial report on and recommendations for K-12 school safety in Florida including prevention, active shooter, and post-event response strategies.

In response to this report, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading school violence prevention organization issued the following statement:

“The Commission has taken a first and important step of investigating and assessing what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

“We agree with the recommendation that effective school safety begins with prevention, understanding that gun violence is preventable when we train our students, educators, and community members to know the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors and act to get help. We also agree that equipping our schools with anonymous reporting systems and proactive threat assessment teams that can triage and intervene earlier to stop a crisis before it happens, will further promote the safety of our children and schools.” he continued.

“Because Senate Bill 7026 has many sound provisions that have not yet been fully implemented, we are concerned by any proposal to expand who can carry firearms on school grounds and around students. The focus should remain on more proactive programming and on providing students with needed services and supports to prevent violence.” To date, more than 5.5 million people have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

The Walt Disney Company Helps Support Expansion of Sandy Hook Promise’s Successful Start With Hello Program to Reach More Elementary Students

Today, Sandy Hook Promise is proud to announce The Walt Disney Company as a new supporter of its Start With Hello program for elementary schools, which promotes inclusion and prevents social isolation. Through this collaboration, Sandy Hook Promise will be able to significantly expand the reach of this celebrated program. The Walt Disney Company will be directly contributing to the development of a new Start With Hello curriculum and digital platform for grades K-5. Implementation of training will now be provided to 2.8 million youth and adults from 6,000 schools and youth organizations in the first three years.

 

“We are thrilled to be working with The Walt Disney Company to bring our Start With Hello programs to the youngest students across the country. We’ve had tremendous demand for Start With Hello training for elementary schools, and because of this donation, we are able to bring this new training to life. Elementary schools are the perfect setting for this training, which focuses on inclusion and looking out for one another. We believe that the earlier we can tackle social isolation and create connectivity among students, the more we will empower students to be upstanders in the future,” said Nicole Hockley, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

 

Disney’s commitment to making lasting, positive change in communities and promoting the happiness and well-being of children and their families reflects the same values and mission that Sandy Hook Promise promotes in the Start With Hello program. Both organizations are also focused on youth leadership, development, and empowerment and creating inclusive school communities.

 

“We know that being a young student isn’t always easy. That’s why The Walt Disney Company is pleased to support the Start With Hello program to encourage young kids to take small but powerful actions to promote connectedness, encourage inclusive behavior, and prevent kids from feeling isolated,” said Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Enterprise Social Responsibility for The Walt Disney Company. “We are thrilled that our donation will go directly towards expanding this great program to reach young children during such formative years.”

 

Start With Hello is a results-proven and easy-to-implement program that empowers students to create an inclusive and connected community by reaching out to those who may be chronically isolated, marginalized, or rejected to let them know that they are seen and valued. The program is available to schools at no-cost.

 

Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated like you are invisible. It is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. Excessive feelings of isolation can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior. Young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence, and/or depression. As a result, many pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, and may choose to hurt themselves or others. SHP created the Start With Hello program as part of its mission to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

SHP Statement on Bump Stock Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    

 

Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Bump Stock Ban

 

Newtown, CT – December 19, 2018 – Yesterday, the Trump administration announced a new federal regulation that will go into effect in late March, making it illegal to own bump stocks (aka slide fire devices) that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire rounds faster. This accessory was responsible for more than 50 deaths in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre.

In response to the bump stock ban, Sandy Hook Promise, the leading gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the Administration for taking this important step to minimize the potential impact of an active shooter situation,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “We also call upon Congress and the White House to place more focused, bipartisan attention on passing gun violence prevention legislation to stop gun violence before it can happen, by passing bipartisan policy including Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) and Universal Background Checks. We know that gun violence is preventable when we Know the Signs and these necessary regulations can further the safety of our communities and schools,” he continued.

To date, more than 5.5 million people have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications

Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com  | 646-650-5005