*Online registration closes at noon the Friday before the walk. However, anyone who would like to participate can register in person at the walk! Please know that walk donations are accepted until December 31st 2013.
Where Does the Money Go?
Of the funds raised for the Montgomery County Out of the Darkness Community Walk, 50% of will stay right here in the local community to help the National Capital Area Chapter continue to provide education, outreach, and survivor of suicide loss programming at the local level. The other 50% will go to AFSP's national level efforts, including funding research, developing new programs, and advocating for policy issues on the national level.
Logistics for the Walk
This year's walk is taking place at Rockville Town Center (200 East Middle Lane, Rockville, MD, 20850). All of the registration/check-in, Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony events will take place at the Pavilion at the Town Center.
Parking at Rockville Town Center is limited, so we encourage as many of you as possible to use Metro. Rockville Town Center is just across the street from the Rockville Metro Stop, which is on the Red Line (http://www.wmata.com/rail/station_detail.cfm?station_id=17). If you do choose to drive, you can receive 2 hours of free parking by making a purchase at one of the participating stores (http://rockvilletownsquare.com/parking/parking-faq/). We will have plenty of signage and volunteers directing you where to go.
Pets and Children
Unfortunately, Rockville Town Center does NOT allow pets, so please leave your four-legged family members at home. However, children in strollers are welcome to take part in our walk. Note, it is up to each parents' discretion as to whether or not they feel comfortable having their child participate in this walk. We have had a number of children participate in past walks and have enjoyed the event. However, please note that we will be talking about suicide and the loss of loved ones during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. While we think this is a great family event, we do understand that some parents may feel uncomfortable having their children attend. This is entirely up to each individual.
This year's walk will be a 3.4 mile walk through the heart of the City of Rockville's historic area. We will be posting a map of the walk route as we get closer to the date, and we will have copies of the walk route on-hand the day of the walk itself. If you feel you are unable to complete the 3.4 mile walk, you are still more than welcome, and encouraged, to take part in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Opening Ceremony Speakers
This year we are honored to welcome Miss Potomac's Outstanding Teen, Jillian Johnson, and Dr. David Jobes from The Catholic University of America as our speakers for our opening ceremony! Having lost her grandfather to suicide, Jillian has made suicide prevention and awareness her platform for her year at Miss Potomac Outstanding Teen. Dr. Jobes is a Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of Clinical Training at The Catholic University of America. His research and writing in suicide has produced numerous peer reviewed publications, including five books on clinical suicidology. Thanks to you both for sharing your perspectives and stories with us at this year's walk!
Remembering Our Loved Ones
Many of us will be walking to honor a loved one that has passed away from suicide. In order to remember those loved ones during the walk, we encourage those who feel comfortable to make signs to honor their loved one, which you can carry with you as we walk to help put a face/name to the tragedy of suicide.
In addition, we will be asking you all to bring with you a pair of shoes that will represent your loved one. We will line those shoes up on stage for the Opening Ceremony to help bring a tangible reminder of the lives that have been lost. You are more than welcome to take your pair of shoes home with you, but any that are leftover after the Closing Ceremony will be donated to a local Salvation Army.
As a reminder, this year we will be holding a raffle at the conclusion of the walk--prior to the official Closing Ceremony. Note, you must be in attendance to claim your prize. Raffle tickets will be sold during the registration/check-in time prior to the beginning of the Opening Ceremony. A sample of the raffle items include:
· Autographed baseball by Denard Span of the Washington Nationals
· 2 tickets to the Strathmore
· $50 gift card to Potomac Pizza
· $25 gift card to Adega Wine Cellars & Cafe
If you or someone you know has an item they would be willing to donate for the raffle, please contact email@example.com.
2013 Recognition Gifts