Marching Out of the Darkness

Zara Patel

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The Out of Darkness Community Walk is a walk joining the effort to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. This is the third annual Out of Darkness Walk in Columbia and it occurred  on October 7th at Stephens Lake Park.

The beginning of the event started with nine people that have either lost some to suicide, struggles personally, knows someone that struggles, or someone that supports the cause. There were different colors of beads to represent the relationship of these people to them that participants wore. Toward the end of the opening ceremony a list of names was said that were all names that were people who have passed due to committing suicide. Over fifty names were listed off, most representing someone a team walked for. There was a total of sixty teams at the event and more than 500  people pre-registered to the event.

The team that participated from Hickman was made by the Hope Club. They raised over $36,599.73 of the $50,000 raised total and they are accepting donations until the end of this year.

Though the opening ceremony was rushed due to the incoming rain, following the ceremony, families and teams gathered for the upcoming walk around Stephen’s Park.

Part of the Toltan Cheer team was there to support the event as well.

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