Out of Darkness walkers to promote suicide prevention


Out of Darkness walkers to promote suicide prevention

By ANGELINA BURKHOLDER

This Saturday, May 16, The Vineyard Church Franklin will host the city’s first Out of Darkness Suicide Walk in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

This Saturday, May 16, The Vineyard Church Franklin will host the city’s first Out of Darkness Suicide Walk in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

This spring alone, the ASFP will conduct more than 350 walks nationwide. Together, those walks are expected to raise about $12 million in efforts to lower the suicide rate by 20 percent by 2025. Currently, the Franklin walk has registered about 150 people.

Pastor Jon Sterns from The Vineyard Church was the driving motivation behind bringing the walk to Franklin. After watching many friends experience the loss of loved ones by suicide, he said he felt a strong urge to make a difference and do whatever possible to impact the issue. After learning about the ASFP and Out of Darkness Walks, he enlisted the help of his congregation as well as community members to organize the event and bring it to Franklin.

Participants registered for the event are encouraged to raise money through gaining pledges and donations from individuals, organizations and companies. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit national research as well as local community support and research.

The walk will kick off at 10 a.m. with registration opening at 9 a.m. at The Vineyard Church parking lot. Walkers and joggers will go from the parking lot of the church around the highway and circle back to the start line. Participants can walk or jog. Refreshments, entertainment and speeches from local dignitaries will follow the walk for all involved.

Anyone still interested in joining the walk can register at online through ASFP. Online registration closes at noon on Friday, May 15. Those who miss the deadline, but still wishes to join the walk, will be able to register in-person during check-in at the church Saturday morning.

Donations for the Out of Darkness Walk will be accepted until June 30, 2015. For more information on making a donation, contact Kathryn Squires at katsqu@gmail.com

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