Suicide prevention event seeks walkers


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Elizabeth City Area Out of the Darkness Campus Walk will be held April 13 at Elizabeth City State University.

The event, sponsored by the state chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, begins at 8:30 a.m. with check-in and registration, followed by a brief program and two miles of laps inside Roebuck Stadium.

There is no fee to participate, but walkers are asked to register online at www.afsp.org/ElizabethCity. All participants are also encouraged to fund-raise for the event.

Fifty percent of all net funds raised will stay in the Elizabeth City area for suicide prevention education, programming and support resources for those who have lost someone to suicide.

Betsy Rhodes, area director with the suicide prevention foundation, said event organizers are eager to sign up walkers and teams.

“We would love to see teams from businesses, the hospital, local high schools and middle schools, and from members of the community who have been touched by suicide,” Rhodes said.

As of late Friday 28 walkers had registered online. The goal is 100 registered walkers.

In addition, there are six teams so far and the goal is at least 20.

Rhodes said ESCU Campus Walk Team Captain TyJuan Crawford, who is co-chairing the local walk with John C. Chappell of Tyner, is busy recruiting students and staff to join the ECSU team. Walk team captains also are being sought for College of The Albemarle and local high schools.

“Right now we have a core volunteer team of about 20, but need more volunteers for the Walk Day on April 13,” Rhodes said. “If you or your organization want to volunteer, please register online and select ‘Volunteer’ when asked. We will be in touch about 10 days before the walk. Or you can contact me at brhodes@afsp.org.”

Walk organizers are looking for a church youth group to help distribute flyers about the walk. Although the deadline has passed for businesses to have their logo on the official walk T-shirt, other sponsorship opportunities are still available. In addition, businesses may make a donation to the event online at www.afsp.org/ElizabethCity or may create a company team.

The Elizabeth City Out of the Darkness Campus Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness Overnight, Community and Campus Walks being held nationwide this year.