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NewsTribune file photos Walkers from across north-central Illinois set out on the walk in 2011 that raised more than $100,000 for American Federation for Suicide Prevention. The Out of the Darkness walk will be Saturday, Oct. 19 at Baker Lake, Peru.
To raise awareness of suicide and funds for help and prevention, the Out of the Darkness suicide walk is scheduled for Oct. 19 at Baker Lake Park, Peru.
“People really wanted to do this again and we decided to have another La Salle County walk this year to make people aware, to prevent suicide and to support anyone who has gone through this,” said Dawn Moutray, director of social service at Illinois Valley Community Hospital, Peru.
Moutray lost her brother, Steven, 50, four years ago.
“I also know others in the community who have lost loved ones to suicide as well as people who have attempted suicide who have gotten help and been able to go on with their lives,” Moutray said. “It’s really important for people to know they can do that.” The event will provide resources.
“We’ll have resources for preventing suicide but also local resources, people to talk to about suicide,” Moutray said.
There will be speakers including suicide survivors.
“We have a young lady who survived a suicide attempt and got the help that she needed to overcome the obstacles in her life and is now able to make a difference,” Moutray said.
Participants do not have to walk or can walk any distance they choose. Registrants don’t have to donate to participate, or participate to donate. People may form teams or join teams but this is not necessary to participate, either, she said.
“If they want to form a team they do that online and then each person registers under that team,” Moutray said.
The team, Bobby’s Buddies, will be there.
“He was kind of a like a buddy to all,” said Christy Donahue of La Salle. Donahue lost her brother, Bobby, last year at age 41.
Some teams and individuals might design T-shirts or wear hats or something else in memory of victims. There will be a balloon launch prior to the walk. People can purchase beads and balloons for $1 at the walk. Participants can place pictures and notes on a memory board, Moutray said.
Donahue’s loss opened her eyes and she now wants to help the event raise awareness, she said.
“We think their mission is so great,” she said. “It’s a really great thing if anyone needs help or has questions. We’re going to help them make it bigger next year.”
Out of the Darkness walks are held in hundreds of communities each year with proceeds benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The first La Salle County walk was first held at Baker Lake in 2011 in memory of Pete Miller, 50, president of Miller Group Media.
Illinois Valley Out of the Darkness suicide walk
Schedule of events * 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, Baker Lake Park, 2700 Airport Road, Peru. * Check-in time: 10-11 a.m. * Register and donate at www.LaSalleCoWalk.org or call Dawn Moutray at (815) 780-3504. Registration cutoff will be 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 and donation cutoff will be noon, Jan. 1. * For information call Dawn Moutray (815) 780-3504 or e-mail Illinois@AFSP.org.
Organizers and sponsors * Organizers are Illinois Valley Community Hospital and North Central Behavioral Health Systems/Health Directions. * Sponsors are Miller Group Media, Illinois Valley Community Hospital, O.S.F. St. Francis Medial Center and St. Margaret’s Hospital.
Online * Twitter: @AFSPLaSalleCo and @AFSPIL, #OOTDCW (Out of the Darkness Community Walks). * Facebook: AFSPLaSalleCo and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Illinois Chapter. * LinkedIn: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Illinois Chapter. * Web pages: www.LaSalleCoWalk.org and www.AFSPIL.org.
For suicide information and help contact: * Any hospital. * North Central Behavioral Health Systems/Health Directions, (800) 288-5912. * Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, (312) 890-2377. * National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (800) 273- 8255.
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