• Courtney Fortunato

Join a Walk for Change on Saturday the 28th

Want an opportunity to get your daily exercise and a chance to support people in your local community? You can do both this Saturday September 28th at the fourth annual Out of the Darkness Walk. This walk raises awareness for suicide prevention and money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Money donated to the AFSP is used to fund research, create educational programs, advocate for policy, and support those affected by suicide.

The walk takes place at the Lakebottom Park Bandstand Arena. Registration starts at 10:00 am, and the opening ceremony starts at 11:00 am. The walk then begins at 11:15 am and ends around 12:00 am. All in all, it is a fairly short event, but it is packed with people there to support others and take advantage of a beautiful Saturday morning. Pets are welcome, and there will be speakers and a DJ before and after the 1.25 mile walk. Also, everything is completely free! Donations to the AFSP are greatly appreciated but not mandatory for participation.

I went to the Out of the Darkness Walk last year and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to talk to people I usually do not get the opportunity to otherwise. Students from Peer Helpers and Students Against Destructive Decisions attend this walk as well, so there will most likely be friends that you know and plenty of people to meet!

Columbus High School senior Mitzi Abalos commented how, “It was uplifting to meet people across our community who were united in preventing and bringing awareness to suicide.” Mitzi also remarked how she enjoyed participating in the different booths set up around the park before and after the walk.

During the opening ceremony, people mingle and participate in activities called Activities of Hope and Healing. They bear this name because their purpose is to provide hope and encouragement to those attending the walk. For example, you can leave positive and supportive messages on a large banner with markers, paint rocks with your peers, wear different colored beads to honor those that have been lost to mental illness, and visit the market place and resource fair. Most of all, this event is a wonderful opportunity to support people in the Columbus area and suicide prevention across the country.

You can pre-register and donate online through the AFSP website. The walk is a symbol of hope, support, and remembrance as well as a way to better unite the community. Be sure to show your support and invite a friend to come out this Saturday September 28th!

Walk Date: 09/28/2019

Walk Location: Lakebottom Park - Bandstand Area, 1505 Cherokee Ave, Columbus, GA 31901

Check-in/Registration Time: 10:00 am

Opening Ceremony: 11:00 am

Walk Ends: 12:00 pm

Price: There is no entry fee or minimum donation

Walk Length: 1.25 miles

Link to website for more information:



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