Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk – recap

Just wanted to share a few photos and tell you a bit about the AFSP suicide prevention and awareness Out of the Darkness walk Saturday night June 27.

After a moving presentation – about the epidemic-like statistics of suicide and the numbers  of people struggling to stay alive – outside Boston’s City Hall, we began walking at just past 7:30 pm. It was thrilling and inspiring with so many folks cheering us on along the way – thanking us and even offering free hugs. At first we walked slowly in a pack. Then after the numbers of walkers thinned out, the pouring rain and cold slowed us down. However, I’m not a quitter and neither was my walk companion, Keith Alan Hamilton, a fellow poet, very dear friend, and my newly adopted son. I loved getting hugs from his girlfriend Dee who was out to root us on as well.

I knew I had to continue no matter what – I wanted to do my 44 supporters proud. They helped me raise a grand total of $3617, making me the top fundraiser on our team. Our team, S.O.L.E.S – Surviving Our Losses Experienced through Suicide – as a whole came in ninth out of 600 teams participating, raising $26,700 – $6,700 over our goal. As a result we all wore a huge Top Team button.

Here’s a map showing our route – we got a great look at a great city.

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Unfortunately the rain hampered our ability to take some good shots.

Yet we do have a wonderful team photo. Glad to have taken it before the walk. If we had waited until afterward we would have looked like drowned rats. Also, we all didn’t finish at the same time. With three rest stops, Keith and I finished at 1:00 am. Our captain Deborah Lee Rose was at the City Hall way ahead of us.

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There’s Deborah with the sign. I’m on the far right and Keith is the tall guy with the visor on the top left.

Another photo I must share is of the people our team lost to suicide. Look at those beautiful faces who had so much to live for. Hopefully what we accomplished last Saturday will spare others from experiencing the pain our team and the rest of the 2500 walkers have experienced. That’s the goal – to reduce the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides by at least 20 percent by the year 2020. I’ll do whatever I can do to help make that happen.

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My boy Paul is in the lower right corner.

 

 

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