By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, on Tuesday, proclaimed this week Yellow Ribbon Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week in the city.
McNamara read the proclamation while flanked by parents who lost children to suicide, the second leading cause of death among those from ages 10 to 24. In Winnebago County alone, there have been 33 suicide deaths this year, 40 last year an 45 in 2016. That’s an average of about 40 deaths per year.
“Heightened awareness and education will encourage communities to develop strategies to prevent suicides,” the mayor said.
Tonight at Maddox Theater, the public is invited to take part in an event that is part of that strategy. It is called “Artists Out of Ashes,” a free performance by artists affected by suicide who will share their stories of healing. The event is organized by Shatter Our Silence, led by Kevin Polky, of KP Counseling.
The program starts at 5 p.m. Maddox Theater is at 5050 E. State St., on the campus of Rockford University.
In other city business, aldermen approved the the special use permit for 5.7-acre solar farm near 11th Street and Samuelson Road.
The council also approved three public murals at 134 N. First St., 331 E. State St. and 525 N. Sixth St. The three projects will complement the State Street Bridge mural painted by Boylan High School student Libbie Frost in July. R.