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Columbia AFSP Out of the Darkness Community Walk
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When: 10/22/2017
1:00 pm
Where: Boyd Plaza
1515 Main Street
Columbia, South Carolina  29201
United States
Contact: Jared Porter

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Walk Date: 10/22/2017 Location: Boyd Plaza and SC Statehouse- Columbia, SC Registration begins: 1:00 PM Ribbon Cutting: 2:00 PM Program at the Statehouse: 2:30 PM Return to Boyd Plaza: 3:00 PM Online registration ends 10/20/2017 The Out of the Darkness Community Walk is a journey of remembrance and a walk that unites a community- a time to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and our loved ones. The Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together they can make big changes in the world. They are AFSP's largest fundraiser- they produce millions for suicide prevention programs, unite those who have been affected by suicide, and create communities that are smart about mental health. When you walk in the Out of the Darkness walks, you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow AFSP to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. As the leader in the fight against suicide, and thanks to walkers like you from cities across the country, AFSP has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025. How You Can Participate: There are multiple ways you can participate. There is no cost to register, but the goal is to raise funds through donations. You can participate as: an individual walker, team captain or walker as part of a team, virtual walker- if you cannot attend the Walk, you can be supported by being a virtual walker and raising funds, volunteer- if you can volunteer the day of the event, please let us know. Volunteers are needed for pre-walk activities so walk participants can still volunteer. Walk Route: Boyd Plaza, 1515 Main Street, is beside the Columbia Museum of Art. We will walk to the State House for our program and return to Boyd Plaza for refreshments, music, and activities! We are taking steps to raise funds for important AFSP programs; steps to raise awareness; steps to remember lives lost, and hopeful steps for those who struggle. All participants are invited to bring a pair of shoes to place on the State House steps to represent our loved ones whether by loss or due to lived experience. We hope to raise attention of the importance of South Carolinians across the state working together to prevent suicide, as individuals, agencies and organizations. You are welcome to decorate your shoes with colored markers, innovative tags, and you can opt to donate them to charity. Donated shoes will be collected after the program at the State House by Lexington Interfaith Ministries. It is not necessary that the shoes belong to the person you are honoring. Please note that bringing a pair of shoes is an option and not a requirement. We will also have a table in the Hope and Healing area where you can decorate them. Become a Sponsor: With sponsorship opportunities starting at only $250, this is a perfect opportunity for large and small businesses to play a role in making suicide prevention a priority in the community. All sponsors will receive marketing and publicity benefits! T-Shirts: Raise $150 by 10/22/2017 and receive an official Out of the Darkness Walk T-shirt! Remember, in addiction to fundraising online, you will be able to turn in additional cash or check donations at the registration table the day of the Walk. Resource Fair: Make sure to arrive early to allow time to explore the resources area. Information tables will be available at Boyd Plaza. This will be an opportunity to gather literature, hear about upcoming events, and connect with others who are dedicated to raising awareness of mental illness and suicide, strengthening prevention efforts, and providing support to those impacted by suicide loss. Family Activities: Activities will be available for all ages. Be sure to check out the children’s area! Art of Recovery: Don’t miss the Art of Recovery Exhibit that will be displayed at Boyd Plaza both before and after the walk. Activities of Hope and Healing: Look for the Hope and Healing Area for special activities. Survivors of loss and others with lived experience are welcome to bring photos to share in this area. Anyone is welcome to write a message of hope and healing in this area. We will have magic markers and materials on hand for you. In this area we will have displays and trees that you can hang your photos or messages from. For those who bring extra shoes, we will also have a table available with tags if you would like to decorate them. After decorating the shoes, you will take them with you during the walk and place them in the designated area on the State House steps. 

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