Out of the Darkness Walk Richmond 2017

Team Charles

The Out of the Darkness walk was so moving. So powerful. It’s a day I got to celebrate Charles’ life with friends and 1,000 other people.

I was not a great fundraiser this year, asking way at the last minute but many of you came through for me and we made our team goal. So thank you for that. Emma kicked butt by raising $500! My friend Amy felt dropped $25 on each of my teammates that had $0.

Some mentioned the Bliley’s tents. But I do want the Out of the Darkness attendees to understand that Bliley’s was a sponsor because that business loss a family member to suicide and they want to be a community partner. What’s more, they arrived with those huge, really nice tents and put them up for us. And took them down!

Given that we had only 4 volunteers to set up the entire event, we were very appreciative. Thank you to the McShin group who lent a hand in distributing tables after they assembled their amazing exhibit (more on that later).

I loved meeting so many of you that have shared these posts and helped me reach others suffering, wanting connection and understanding for mental illness, addiction and suicide. It sometimes takes me a minute to make the connection from tiny little Facebook picture to the real person. Thank you to Jenn who manned the Beacon Tree table for me. I gave her little instruction and she did a stand-up job.

I talked to Team TLT for Timmy, TeamJaun for Juan, Casey’s team and Stand up for Life. Third from the right in the picture above in a green shirt is Nancy Thompson from Team TLT, an active mental health advocate from Maine who spearheaded legislation to require public school personnel to receive training in suicide prevention and awareness.

Nancy and I had a heartfelt hug and I was so glad we finally got to meet after hearing so much about her and knowing her daughter. Her son Timmy Thompson who died by suicide was, like Charles, a popular and well-liked young man whom no one expected to take his life.

Her daughter, Haley Thompson, the cute one in the baseball cap in the middle is heading up policy for the Virginia Chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and will help us on AFSP Virginia’s first advocacy day in January.

Tim Alexander, standing next to me (second from the right above), has been a big ally to me and shot and edited a lot of video in the addiction and recovery community.

Thank you Shirley for being my ally in this fight to prevent suicide and for bringing the event to Richmond 7 years ago.

Saturday Charles

Team Juan
Team Casey
Origami curtain
Stand up for life
Team Charles

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

5 thoughts on “Out of the Darkness Walk Richmond 2017”

  1. Your enthusiasm and passion fly off the page, Anne Moss. There is nothing like the bond we have with each person we meet on walk day. This is the first walk in five years since losing Garrett that I have not been able volunteer for or attend (and eight years for NAMIWALKS) and it feels like a big hole in my life this year. I can only hope things will improve and allow me to get back up there with you guys next year. Thank you for all that you do Anne Moss and Shirley Ramsey.

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