Annual Out of the Darkness Walk raises money for suicide prevention

Hampden County

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – School Street Park in Agawam played host to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Saturday morning for the annual ‘Out of the Darkness Walk’.

22News Reporter Taylor Knight was there, on stage to help kick-off festivities.

The walk is a fundraiser that raises money to invest in research and create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.

Suicide is a sensitive issue, that takes the lives of even the brightest people, putting the burden of support on those left behind.

Colleen Bannister, Westfield State’s Softball Coach, told 22News that in 2017 the Westfield State community lost someone very special.

“She was our Valedictorian in 2017. She worked with an inclusion group on campus and she touched so many people’s lives, then we lost hers. So we are trying to honor her memory with everything we do every day,” said Bannister.

Bannister also added that support is essential to help others who have dealt with the loss of a loved one.

Bannister told 22News, “In my opinion, we all need to support each other. Even though it is very emotional for people who have lost people, we need to inspire others to keep going on.”

Saturday’s walk hit its goal of raising $125,000 entirely on local donations.

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