Two hundred and fifty walkers participated in the 2nd Annual Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk Sunday, that's almost 100 more than last year's inaugural walk.
Vanessa Hastings, event organizer and Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center, says everything went great.
She explains that in order to raise awareness, their goal is to start an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention chapter in Sheridan and in order to do so fundraising is key.
As of Sunday afternoon, the tentative fundraising total for the weeks leading up to the event and money collected on Sunday was $18,421. Donations came from numerous businesses and private donors from the northern Wyoming area.
Marine veteran Charles “Eddie” Edwards was recognized prior to the walk for his efforts in Gillette, raising about $5,000.
Before the walk, speaker Jennie Melvin of Sweetwater County told the story of her daughter Kyla Baumfalk's battle with depression. She stressed the importance of understanding that depression and suicidal thoughts are a mental condition. Teamwork between friends, family, and mental health professionals is the essential in the care of someone dealing with suicidal thoughts, she said.
Walkers left from Grinnell Street north down Main Street, went through Whitney Commons Park, through Kendrick Park, back up Loucks and onto Main Street back to Grinnell.