A Walk To Remember

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February 1, 2017 3:27 PM

A Walk to Remember: Suicide Awareness Fundraiser will be taking place this month, to bring attention to mental health issues and pull in money to support the annual Walk of Remembrance, which takes place every September.
The Walk of Remembrance is a way for residence to get together and honour the memory of those lost to suicide, as well as share resources and stories, and coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day.
Neil Harris, volunteer with the Walking Through Grief Society, the organization helping put on the Suicide Awareness Fundraiser, explained the importance of holding such an occasion.
“I think the significance in two-part, really; it’s creating more awareness about reducing the stigma, about suicide and talking about it and just creating awareness about the fact that there is help out there available,” he said.
“As more people talk about mental health and problems and conditions, it reduces that stigma and people will hopefully feel more comfortable to seek help when they’re struggling with personal difficulties.”
The Walking Through Grief Society helps out the Walk of Remembrance every fall, and according to Harris, the Madden family, one of the families that supports the walk, came up with the idea to host a fundraiser to put money toward this year’s event.
The Maddens are also close to Robert Rushton, an Elvis impersonator, and when Rushton heard about the fundraiser idea, he volunteered his services as entertainment for the night and as the plans began to come together, the Walking Through Grief Society was asked to help with ticket sales, to which it readily agreed.
The evening, taking place at the Lloydminster Royal Canadian Legion Hall on Feb. 11, includes a beef supper, door prizes, a silent auction, entertainment by the King doppelganger, and a resource table with information on mental health concerns as well as suicide awareness and prevention. 
The money raised will go specifically to offset some of the costs it takes to organize the Walk of Remembrance, like the fees for booking Bud Miller All Seasons Park, as well as advertising costs for promoting the event and paying for out of town guest speakers.
“It’s always great to have more awareness,” said Harris.
“Let’s share our experiences and let’s reduce the stigma around mental health problems.”

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