Greater Fredericksburg Experience

Join us on October 10, 2020



Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Greater Fredericksburg Experience


Event Details

Date: 10/10/2020
Location: Old Mill Park 
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Shannon Sullivan 
Contact Phone: 540-841-7132 
Contact Email:

Registration is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted until December 31st.


Why do you walk?  Share your reason on our Virginia "Why I Walk" Wall!

Made with Padlet



YES! The Greater Fredericksburg Out of the Darkness Experience is a real walk, but on your terms: you get to choose your route within the park, what time you start sign up coming soon), and who walks next to you (within safe distancing guidelines)! The walking is real—it's the community that's virtual this year.

We realize that nothing can substitute the experience of everyone coming together in person, and we will continue to seek ways in which we can do that safely. We welcome your ideas for gathering online and in-person this fall. Please contact the AFSP Virginia Chapter at for more information. In the meantime, we look forward to connecting in new ways, and we invite you to join us on this journey.

Why Register?

  • By registering for the Greater Fredericksburg Out of the Darkness Experience, you join a strong community united in an effort to fight suicide while showing up for yourself, recognizing and honoring those you love, raising awareness, educating communities, supporting one another, and sharing hope.
  • All participants can create and join teams. This is a great way to motivate family, friends, and co-workers to join you!
  • Registered walkers will be emailed updates and invites to in person and e-vents in the upcoming months, as well as given the opportunity to participate for incentive prizes
  • Individuals who raise $150 or more by October 10th will receive our exclusive 2020 Out of the Darkness t-shirt!
  • You can connect with our new virtual community by joining our Participant Facebook Group! You'll meet other participants from across our community.

Having trouble registering?  Click here to view a step-by-step guide.  Refer to page 1 if you’re registering yourself or page 5 if you’re registering someone else through your own account.  Question that isn't answered? Reach out to us at

Schedule of Activities

Stay tuned for detailed information on upcoming activities.  We look forward to sharing many ways you can participate, both online and in person.  We are excited to share the following ways to participate with you.  Watch your email and social media for details on these and more experiences as our plans continue to develop.

Ongoing - Hope in the Mailbox

Brighten someone's day by sending them a free postcard.  Each year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Walks bring communities across the country together to fight suicide and deliver hope to all who may be struggling with a mental health condition or loss of a loved one. While there may be some limitations on how we can gather in person this year, we can still send hope and let people know that they are not alone.  Complete the form below and we’ll drop a postcard in the mail to bring a smile to someone's face by letting them know they’re on your mind.  Get started at

Ongoing September 1st - 30th - Facebook for a Face Mask Challenge

Registered participants who set up a Facebook fundraiser THROUGH THEIR EXPERIENCE PARTICIPANT PAGE (cannot be set up directly on Facebook) that raises at least $50 will receive our AFSP Virginia face mask, featuring our HOPE logo. Mask is navy with white print. See your email and our social media for details.


Wednesday, September 23rd - Why We Walk Wednesday

All day.  Join us in our Facebook Group throughout the day for opportunities to share your reason to walk.  You'll find interactive posts, opportunities to share your story, and more.

Friday, October 9th - Day of Remembrance

This is a virtual event that will take place all day on our event page and our group page. We ask that you get creative and share with us if you walk in honor or memory of somone. You can include pictures, music, collages, THINK OUTSIDE the box. This day of honoring those we lost will replace the on-site memory wall due to COVID-19 precautions. Our online sand ceremony will be posted at the end of this event and will also remain on the site for us to remember. If you are interested in helping with the sand ceremony and have a color you identify with, please email Shannon Sullivan at (you will need access to a computer with web cam and be comfortable using ZOOM or something similar)--please put Sand Ceremony in the email subject line. 

Saturday, October 10th - Greater Fredericksburg Out of the Darkness Experience

In order to prioritize the safety of our volunteers and participants (and due to COVID-19 restrictions), we will have a staggered start event to avoid large gatherings at the park. Please watch your email and check back here for additional updates as we finalize our plans for the day.


Stay tuned for detailed information on additional upcoming activities.  We look forward to sharing many ways you can participate this Fall, both online and in person.  We are excited to be working on opportunities to help us connect with one another and celebrate our shared mission.

Sponsorship Opportunities

We are currently seeking sponsors for our 2020 Out of the Darkness Experience.  If you or your employer would like more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Codi Ruyts (540.848.6014, or Shannon Sullivan (540.841.7132,


Help Spread the Word!

Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! #OutoftheDarkness #TogetherToFightSuicide

  Follow us on Facebook! Post to your Facebook page and add the direct link to your fundraising page. We also invite you to join our Greater Fredericksburg Participant Facebook Group to stay in the know on our newest information and updates.

  Follow us on Twitter! If you are on Twitter, Tweet about the event. Don’t forget to add #outofthedarkness to your tweets!

Follow us on Instagram! Share and tag your photos with #outofthedarkness! Spread the word and ask for support by sharing the videos and social shares in the participant hub.


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



Raise $150 by 10/10/2020 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt!

EXCLUSIVE FOR 2020:  Teams who raise $1,000 prior to our print deadline of August 31st will have their team name appear on the back of our official event T-shirt!


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. Learn more by watching our honor bead video.


The Out of the Darkness Experience is a journey of remembrance, hope, and support. It unites our communities and provides an opportunity to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.

If you're looking for resources, please visit


Thank you for your support!