West Essex Walk

Join us on October 20, 2019

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Event Details

Walk Date: 10/20/2019
Walk Location: Verona Park - Verona, NJ
Check-in/Registration Time: 1:30 pm
Walk Begins: 3:00 pm
Walk Ends: 5:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Rosemary, Sharon, Virginia, Mary & Christina 
Contact Phone: 973-865-8054 
Contact Email: westessexwalk@gmail.com

Online registration closes at noon (local time) the Friday before the walk. However, anyone who would like to participate can register in person at the walk from the time check-in begins until the walk starts. Registration is free and open to the public. Walk donations are accepted until December 31st.

Welcome to the Out of the Darkness West Essex Walk

West Essex Out of the Darkness Walk AFSP

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 the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.

Thanks to Walkers and Donors like you, AFSP has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025.

Click the Register Now button at the top of the page to get started right away.

About the West Essex Walk

Thank you for your interest in the West Essex Out of the Darkness Walk in 2019. The Location for this walk is in its 3rd year and we expect more walkers to gather. The walk has given people the courage to open up about their own struggle or loss, and the platform to change our culture’s approach to mental health. It is an amazing event that brings our communities together to raise  voices for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Read below for more information about the family-friendly Verona Park walk and to get answers to frequently asked questions.

The Fundraising Impact

Although fundraising is optional and there is no minimum fundraising requirement (and no fee to walk), we recommend each walker set a personal goal to raise $150. Each dollar raised helps us deliver suicide prevention programs and with last year's Walk fundraising we are able to hold educational programs throughout our communities on suicide prevention, advocate for public policy changes, support and hold survivors of suicide loss day events across the state and contribute to over $4.6 million in much needed scientific research grants awarded by  AFSP on a national level. 

There are 3 small things you can do to kick-start your fundraising work: 

You are also welcome to hold your own third-party fundraising and use those funds raised toward your individual or team goal. Contact us for supporting your private fundraiser.

This website is designed for online donations. On the day of the walk, you can also bring cash or checks (made out to “American Foundation for Suicide Prevention” or “AFSP”) And please visit our Walker Central website for some great tips to help you reach your fundraising goals and help you promote your walk participation.

West Essex Walk Fundraising Incentives

Check out some examples of past fundraising incentive "thank-you" gifts  In addition, we have local incentives specific to the West Essex Walk.

Walk Route and Location Information

The paved flat path around the lake is completely wheelchair accessible and approximately 1.2 miles with the iconic bridge in between if you’d like to only go half way around. 

Hopefully the fall foliage will be in full splendor at the time of the walk so you can really enjoy the many beautiful trees and their spectacular show of color. Please be mindful that the park & it’s paths are public-so please be courteous to others on the way, as we expect many walkers this year. 

What to expect at the walk: The walk will take place rain or shine and we encourage walkers to arrive at 1:30 pm when registration opens, so that you have ample time to check-in and then enjoy all of the pre-walk activities we have to offer. 

Pre-walk Activities will include: wearable buttons; Be The Voice temporary tattoo parlor; honor beads necklaces; creating kindness rocks; great music; AFSP merchandise store;  learn more about AFSP and our local NJ chapter; community resource fair; social media/photo station. 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 prevention, strengthening prevention efforts, and providing support to those impacted by suicide loss.

Memorial Wall: If you are a survivor of suicide loss, we encourage you to bring a non-returnable photo of your loved one to the event to add to the memorial wall.

Why I Walk Wall: Share your story, leave a message of hope you want to share with the walkers.

Team captains: please pick up your Team Sign at the big tree near the bandstand we encourage you to use it to assemble your team. Any walker is invited to bring their own team sign, photo to wear or carry while they walk.

Walk opening ceremony will start at approximately 3:00 pm at the Bandstand area. After a few brief introductions we will recognize the top teams and the top individual sponsors. It will also include the Honor Bead Ceremony; the entire opening ceremony will last about 20 minutes and then the walk begins along the path around the lake. 

After you are done walking you don’t need to return to the Bandstand area however we will have the finish line “Cheer Squad” awaiting you. Our event permit is valid through 5:00 pm so any rental items will not be available after that point.

Become a Sponsor!

Download the West Essex Walk Sponsorship Packet. With sponsorship opportunities starting at only $500, 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!

Help Spread the Word!

Download the West Essex Walk Walk Flyer to send to family and friends and display in your comunity.  Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! #OutoftheDarkness

  Follow UsPost to your Facebook page and add the West Essex Out of the Darkness Walk Page link.
  Follow Us! If you are on Twitter, Tweet about the event. Don’t forget to add #20x2025 #outofthedarkness and #StopSuicide to your tweets!

  Remember your LinkedIn connections!
 Share and tag your photos with #outofthedarkness! Spread the word and ask for support by sharing the videos and social shares in walker central (must be logged in)


There are many more social media outlets, please use any and all to help promote the event.  Tell your story about why you walk!


Raise $150 by 10/20/2019 and receive an official Out of the Darkness Walk T-shirt!

Remember, in addition to fundraising online, you will be able to turn in additional cash or check donations at the registration table the day of the Walk. 

Activities of Hope and Healing

Honor Beads

Losing someone to suicide or struggling with a mental illness can feel like no one understands what you are going through. Unlike other illnesses, it is difficult to look at someone and know their connection.

There is an honor bead for everyone, whether you have lost a loved one, struggle personally, support a friend and/or family member, or all of the above.

Out of the Darkness Walk Honor Beads


The Out of the Darkness Community Walk is a journey of remembrance, hope, support, and a walk that unites a campus and community – a time to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and our loved ones. 

Thank you for your support! We look forward to seeing you at the walk!

West Essex Out of the Darkness Walk Resource Table

West Essex Out of the Darkness Walk memorial

Stop Suicide - AFSP New Jersey

West Essex Out of the Darkness walk - Verona Park



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