Registration is still under way for the Second Annual Rockford “Here For Life!” suicide prevention walk, set to begin at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, at Baumann Park, 218 S. Walnut St., Cherry Valley.
The walk date this year coincides with International World Suicide Prevention Day, sponsored by the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
The walk is the work of Shannon Messer, a Rockford resident who lost her brother, Daniel, to suicide in 2009, and who organized the first Rockford walk in 2010 in his memory.
“I felt I really needed to do something tangible to honor Daniel,” Messer said. “And I could not think of anything better to do than to prevent future suicides as well as help remove the stigma associated with suicide in our society by doing something that would also help to bring the issue to the public’s attention.”
Messer said the first walk generated more participaton and more funding for suicide prevention services than she anticipated.
“We had over 200 participants and raised over $12,000 to help fund suicide prevention services,” Messer said.
This year, the Here For Life! walk’s proceeds benefit the work of Suicide Prevention Services of America (SPS), based in Batavia.
“They work on all aspects of dealing with suicide,” said Messer, “prevention, intervention and postvention, and deliver services right here in Rockford.”
Those interested in participating in the Here For Life! walk can find more information or register online at www.spsamerica.org or by calling SPS at (630) 482-9699.
From the Sept. 7-13, 2011, issue