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Mary J. Weiler, Published September 27 2012

Letter: Thank you for bringing suicide out of darkness and into the light

On behalf of the North Dakota Chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention I want to thank the Fargo-Moorhead community for helping us raise more than $60,000 at the seventh annual “Out of the Darkness” Community Walk held this past Sunday, Sept. 23, at Lindenwood Park.

On a sunny fall afternoon, we walked together to better understand and prevent suicide, to reach out to people struggling with depression and those who have attempted suicide and to support those affected by suicide loss.

The F-M community is making a difference in people’s lives by showing their public support, by being a safe place for those who are struggling and by honoring each other and those we have lost to suicide. The F-M community is that place where we gain strength every day to make a new and fresh beginning.

We wish to thank Matthew Von Pinnon, editor of The Forum, and his staff for their continued support of our walk, especially Erik Burgess’ article on Sept. 22nd, “Walk aims to bring suicide ‘Out of the Darkness’ ” and Meredith Holt’s article on Sept. 24, “Into the Light.”

We thank our generous financial sponsors: Riverview Family Dental, American Legion, Bank of ND, Bremer Bank, Case New Holland, Cornerstone Bank, Eide Bailly, Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home, Korsmo Funeral Home, Nash Finch, Precision Diagnostic/Center for Sleep, RDO Equipment, Rumors Tavern, Sam’s Club, Schneider Law Firm, State Bank & Trust, Thrivent Financial, Wells Fargo Bank, West Fargo VFW Post, Wimmers Diamonds, Gate City Bank, Baker Garden & Gift, Prairie St. John’s, R.D. Offutt Company, Boulger Funeral Home, Sertoma, High Plains Reader, Wal-Mart, Hornbacher’s, Great Harvest Bread Co.

And we thank the many other area businesses that donated monetary and in-kind products: Target, Cash Wise, Breadsmith, Sandy’s Donuts, Great Harvest Bread, Wal-Mart, High Plains Reader and Nativity Church. We also thank Rat from Y94 and Stephanie Goetz from KVLY for their participation and Tim Eggebraaten for his inspirational music.

A special thanks to everyone who participated and worked at the walk including the 66 teams, 900-plus walkers, walk planning committee members and the North Dakota Chapter board of directors.

Every dollar raised through the Out of the Darkness Community Walk is used by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help to fund research at the national level, the development of new children and teen survivor of suicide loss support groups in our local communities and provide continued educational depression screening resources and events in our local high schools and colleges.

Every year, hundreds of people come together as a community to cry, to remember and to support one another, knowing that every step we take and every dollar we raise will help save lives.

Thank you, Fargo-Moorhead, for bringing suicide out of the darkness and into the light.

Weiler, Fargo, is North Dakota Chapter board chairwoman, and a survivor of suicide loss.