First-Time Out Of The Darkness Participants To Walk With A Purpose
When the Jamestown Out of the Darkness Community Walk kicks off at Northwest Arena this Saturday, Tina Gross and her team of 30 will be participating in memory of someone near and dear to their hearts.
Gross and her comrades will walk at this year’s Out of the Darkness event — which supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention by helping support local suicide prevention and awareness programs in Chautauqua County — under the moniker of Team Edson in honor of her late husband, Greg Edson.
“This is the first time we’ve participated in the Out of the Darkness walk, and we’re doing it because our family has been touched by suicide,” said Gross, a Cassadaga resident. “Eighteen years ago we lost Greg, who was my husband at the time, to suicide. My children were 13, 11, 8 and 2 at the time.
“This year I have formed Team Edson to walk in the Out of the Darkness walk,” she continued. “All of my children and their families will walk with me. I hope to make this an annual event for our family to bring awareness to suicide prevention. I also want to make the statement that our family has remained strong and other families will get through tough times, too.”
In addition to Gross, her children and their respective families, Team Edson also includes several of Edson’s relatives — including his 95-year-old grandmother, his aunt, two cousins, his sister and his niece — along with Gross’ father, stepmother, husband and several other family friends.
The team will wear red shirts printed by Southern Tier T-shirts and Graphics specifically for the event with a logo, team name and Edson’s information showing that they are walking in his memory. They are taking donations for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention through their online profile at donordrive.com/team/141434. Donations can also be made directly to the foundation at its website: afsp.org.
The Jamestown Out of the Darkness Walk is one of hundreds being held across all 50 states this fall. The walks are expected to unite more than a quarter of a million walkers nationally and raise more than $15 million for suicide prevention efforts.
Locally, the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the local suicide awareness and prevention coalition within Chautauqua County, is organizing the walk with other local organizations including the Chautauqua County Early Identification and Recognition Program, Chautauqua Tapestry, Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene and many passionate community members.
So far, more than $18,000 has been raised for the walk by local business and community members. The goal for this year’s walk is to raise $30,000.
Registration for Saturday’s Out of the Darkness event begins at 9 a.m. with the walk beginning at 10 a.m. To register, visit outofthedarkness.org and click on “find an event” to search and register for the Jamestown Out of the Darkness Community Walk.