Highlands Ranch residents Sheri Cole and Lori Harper both lost a child to suicide. For the past year, they have been organizing the upcoming Metro Denver Out of the Darkness Community Walk, an annual …
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Highlands Ranch residents Sheri Cole and Lori Harper both lost a child to suicide. For the past year, they have been organizing the upcoming Denver Metro Out of the Darkness Community Walk, an annual fundraising event to bring hope and healing to others who have been affected by suicide.
“It’s just nice to know you are not alone, because you feel so alone when it happens,” said Harper, who lost her daughter to suicide four years ago.
More than 3,500 people are expected at this year’s walk at Coors Field in Denver on Sept. 22. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. To avoid long lines, participants can register online at www.afsp.org/denver until noon Sept. 21.
Hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the fundraiser features a three-mile walk, mental health resources, butterfly-release ceremony and workshops. Special touches such as a poster covered with notes of hope and a memory tree with photos of the loved ones lost create a sense of comfort and connectedness.
To date, $114,774 of a $275,000 goal has been raised. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 31.
Funds go toward education, advocacy and research. ASFP partners with and provides resources for several organizations and programs, such as Mental Health First Aid, a training program that teaches the skills to respond to signs of mental illness and substance use, according to its website.
“For any cause, more attention, dollars, resources, education and programs that we can bring to it will make an impact,” said Cole, who lost her son to suicide in 2009.
The walk grows each year, bringing more people together to connect and find comfort.
If you or someone you know is struggling, Colorado Crisis Service is available at 1-844-493-TALK.
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