Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide is preventable. Not to be deterred by the original date being rained out, supporters throughout Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, and nearby communities will be participating in the 7th Annual Emerald Coast Out of the Darkness Community Walk hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Florida Panhandle Chapter at John Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island on their new date of November 16th at 10:00 a.m. This fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.
The event is free and open to the public. Online registration and fundraising are encouraged. Anyone who has already registered and started fundraising will be able to continue using their page and their totals will continue through to the new date. Participants who raise $150 or more will receive a free Out of the Darkness t-shirt. Day-of registration and check-in will begin at 10:00am with the Opening Ceremony at 11:00am with the walk kicking off at the close of the ceremony. Official AFSP t-shirts and merchandise will be available for sale, as well as a raffle tickets with packages from several local businesses!
Interested participants, walkers, and donors can visit AFSP.org/EmeraldCoast to register for the upcoming walk and learn more.
“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Out ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Jessica Roberts, Florida Panhandle Chapter Board Chair. “We have already raised over $22,000 through the Walk and we want to continue to push. The silver lining of this weather delay is that it gives us more time to raise awareness and funds to help our community.”
After the Walk, participants and the community are invited to join the After Party at Dock on the Island from 12-2pm. Guests will enjoy food and drink specials, live music, and more. Dock on the Island will then be hosting a charity Cornhole Tournament. Entries are $20 per team with the tournament kicking off at 2:00pm. All teams must be registered by 1:00pm. Teams will be competing for $3,000 in prizes and 100% of all entries will be donated to AFSP.
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