Out of the Darkness Walk set for October 9th

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 30, 2016

The monetary goal for the 2nd Annual Out of the Darkness Walk to be held Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Troy University Track has been reached.

However, the giving continues as the Troy and Pike County communities strive to raise awareness of suicide and the need for research into the causes of suicide and the treatment of the illness, said Amy Minor, coordinator of the event.

“The incidents of suicide are on the rise so it is most important that we raise awareness of this illness and funds to combat it,” Minor said. “The greater the awareness and the more money we raise for research and treatment the more lives that can be saved.”

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The Out of the Darkness Walk will also pay tribute to those who lives have been lost to suicide and remind their families that they and their loved ones have not been forgotten.

Registration for the Out of the Darkness Walk will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, and the Walk will be from 2 until 4 p.m.

“You don’t have to be a member of a team to walk,” Minor said. “And, those who would like to make a donation to the Walk may pick up an envelope at the registration table or at any time during the walk.”

Troy Mayor Jason A. Reeves will sign a proclamation urging the community to step forward in the efforts to raise awareness of suicide and support the efforts to reduce the number of suicides through treatment and research.

“The Rev. Rick Hayes will open and close the walk with prayer,” Minor said. “For the program, we’ll have special speakers including Devi Leonard of Vicksburg who lost a child to suicide. During the Walk, we’ll have entertainment by In His Step dance group. A group of students from Troy University will also entertain.”

The reading of the names of those whose lives have been lost to suicide will be special part of the event.

The 2016 Out of the Darkness Walk will close with the release of 35 Monarch butterflies.

“Butterflies are symbolic of new life. There’s also the idea that when a butterfly lands on you it’s the kiss of a loved one,” Minor said. “When we release the butterflies, they fly among the crowd and land on some of the people. It is a very meaningful way to bring a close to the Out of the Darkness Walk.”

Minor said the funds raised at the walk will be used to help bring people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide out of the darkness and into the light.