In OFF THE BEATEN PATH on March 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Please support me as I take an amazing journey. The Out of the Darkness Overnight Experience is a 18-mile walk over the course of one night. Net proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, funding research, education, and awareness programs – both to prevent suicide and to assist those affected by suicide.

CLICK THIS LINK TO MAKE A DONATION: http://bit.ly/suicide_awareness



On the night of June 4-5, 2011, I will join thousands of other people on an 18-mile walk as part of the Out of the Darkness Overnight, an event that raises money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The goal of this journey, which will begin at dusk and finish at dawn, is to raise funds for suicide prevention, erase the stigma surrounding suicide and its causes, to encourage those suffering from mental illness to seek treatment, and to show support for the families and friends of the 30,000 Americans who die by suicide and the 20 million people that suffer from depression each year.

I am asking for your support of this effort.

I know from my own experience of losing my dear friend Steve Snyder to suicide that serious depression and other mental illnesses can be fatal. Steve struggled with depression and tried very hard to overcome his illnesses and move forward with his life. He was loved by many, many people who were devastated by his death and his suicide. I can say with confidence that had you known Steve, your life would have been enhanced by his friendship, intellect and character. Steve’s family and friends have been forever changed by his passing.  They will continue to miss him deeply for the rest of their lives and they wrote a few words I’d like to share with you:

  • I have no words to describe how devastatingly sad this tragedy is. Rest peacefully, dear friend. You were loved and you will be missed.
  • Steve was always one of the ‘good guys’!
  • Steve you were a great soul and someone people will miss.
  • I’m gonna miss running for a thesaurus looking to find words that you wrote.
  • Steve was extremely smart, funny, witty, good-hearted and caring. The world is a better place for his time with us, and we are all better people for the time we shared with him.
  • I’m deeply saddened by this tragedy… He was my cousin and my friend… I will miss him at family gatherings; I will miss his insights, his sense of humor, and our debates about law, politics, and economics… I don’t think that there is a simple rational explanation for what happened. He will be dearly missed by those he left behind.
  • His brilliant wit and raw dissection of life led us to question everything and everyone we took for granted. We will miss Steve’s humor, wit and zest for life.
  • I remember Steve’s keen intelligence and sharp wit.
  • The world is a worse place because he is gone and like so many people I will miss him for the rest of my life.
  • Good bye Steve the world is lesser place today, but heaven is better in welcoming you.

Mr. Rogers once said, “Anything that is human is mentionable. And if it is mentionable, it can be more manageable. When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.”  Too few people were willing to talk about Steve’s depression and his suicide. That’s why I’m walking in Out of the Darkness Overnight, to raise awareness and let people know it is ok to talk about suicide and mental illness. I want to do my part to prevent this tragedy from happening in other families.

By participating in this event, I hope to raise awareness of the serious threat that mental illness can pose and the treatment options that can help people overcome it. If one person can be saved from the illness that killed Steve, my efforts to walk 20 miles and to raise money for this cause will be worthwhile.

Please take a moment to read the enclosed fact sheet about suicide and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at the forefront of many research, education, prevention and survivor initiatives. I hope you will consider supporting my participation in this event. Any contribution will help the work of AFSP. Checks should be made payable to AFSP and are 100% tax-deductible. Donations can also be made online at http://www.TheOvernight.org (select “Support a Participant” and search for my name).  Your employer may augment your donation through a matching gift program – please check your company’s policy.
Please think about how much you can give to this cause and complete the enclosed donation form today.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and for being a part of my life.  You have been a source of strength and support for me both when Steve was alive and in the long months since he died. It is only through the love and support of family and friends that we all survive.

CLICK THIS LINK TO MAKE A DONATION: http://bit.ly/suicide_awareness

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