NEWPORT — Volunteers from around the Northeast Kingdom are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.
The annual Out of the Darkness Walk will be held at Gardner Park at 10:00 a.m. on September 7.
This walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education, research and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by the year 2025.
“Suicide touches one in five American families,” Mary Butler, AFSP Vermont Board member, said. “We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”
The Out of the Darkness Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness, Community, Campus, and Overnight walks being held nationwide this year.
The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts.
Last year, these walks raised over $21 million for suicide prevention. Locally, the walk raised over $15,000 and had over 200 participants.
“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health.”
You can register to walk, start a team, or donate by visiting www.afsp.org/Newportvt
If you want to support the walk but unable to be there on the 7th, join everyone at the Eastside at 6:00 p.m. for a benefit dinner. Tickets are $25/person and available from Lillian Bathalon at 802-744-2493.Are you on Instagram? Cool. So are we. CLICK HERE to follow us for a behind the scenes look at Newport Dispatch.