On October 23rd, the first annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk was held at Foster Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Walkers came from all over the state, including Michigan, Illinois and Ohio to walk for a cause they cared about. Many walked to honor a loved one lost, others walk because they themselves have suffered and some walked just because they cared about the cause.
There were 253 walkers, including the Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne University boy’s baseball team and girl’s softball teams, who were there honoring a student lost last spring. Speakers included Ashley Jones, the chair of the walk, Lisa Brattain, chair of the Central Indiana Chapter for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Colleen Carpenter, Director-Youth Suicide Prevention Technical Assistance Center.
Sponsorships included A Party Apart, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Indiana Chapter, B. Antonio’s Pizza, Applebee’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Meijer, Sam’s Club, Seely Office Solutions, Show-time Live Productions, Stephanie Robb Photography and The Waynedale News. Other companies donated items to be used in a raffle the day of the walk that brought in over $500.
To date, over $14,696 has been raised for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The top team to raise money was WE SALUTE BRIAN who raised over $2,500. The top three fundraisers were Carrie Kush ($1,049), Deb Lothamer ($805) and Julie Cummings ($745). Walkers did a great job of raising funds for the walk.
Money raised from the walk goes toward educating college and high school students about depression and suicide, as well as training those for survivor groups, and sponsoring the annual National Suicide Survivor day. Money can be raised until December 31st of this year.
The date is already scheduled for the walk next year, October 22, 2011. The location has not been set. If you would to like to be a part of the committee to plan the walk, please contact Ashley Jones at email@example.com