Rockford resident to walk 20 miles in 2nd national 'Out of the Darkness Overnight'

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On July 16-17, Rebecca Adams will embark on a 20-mile walk, from sunset to sunrise, to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention, education and survivor programs. Net proceeds from the Out of the Darkness Overnight event will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

The Overnight will be similar to the inaugural Out of the Darkness walk held in Washington, D.C., in 2002, which raised $1.2 million and brought together 2,400 walkers and volunteers nationwide. This summer, The Overnight will take place in Chicago.

“When I found out about The Overnight, I knew that it was something that I had to do! My brother, Patrick Jefko, took his life last April,” said Adams. “It has been a very long year. By participating in this walk, I realize that if I can help just one person, or one family to never have to endure the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’, it will be a huge success.

“Walkers agree to raise at least $1,000 each to participate, while volunteer crew members are encouraged to raise $500 each. However, my team goal is to raise $20,000,” she said.

Rebecca Adams has formed the team “Pat’s Steel Curtain” in honor of her brother, who was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Members of her team include Nancy Lundahl, Lisa Jefko, Shelly Eyster and Brad Eyster. To join Pat’s Steel Curtain, go to

It is estimated that each year, close to 1 million Americans will make a suicide attempt, 30,000 will die by suicide, and more than 20 million will suffer from depression. Suicide is also the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and the second leading cause of death for college students. Additionally, Americans over the age of 65 account for 20 percent of all suicide deaths every year.

To help Pat’s Steel Curtain and Rebecca Adams reach their fund-raising goal or to get more information about The Overnight, call 888-NIGHT-05 (that’s 888-644-4805) or visit

ASFSP is the only national not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding suicide prevention research, education and awareness programs—both to prevent suicide and to assist those affected by suicide. AFSP was founded in 1987 by concerned scientists, business and community leaders, and by those who have lost loved ones to suicide. AFSP is headquartered in New York with 20 affiliate offices nationwide.

From the July 13-19, 2005, issue

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