Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in Pennsylvania. On average, one person dies by suicide every five hours in the state. It is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 25-34, it is the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 10-24, and the 4th leading cause of death for ages 35-54. I believe suicide can be prevented, and it starts with everyday heroes like us. That's why I am joining the community of 250,000 people walking in hundreds of cities across the country to fight suicide in an Out of the Darkness Walk.
I created a walk team called "Playing Shorthanded". If you're not a hockey fan, playing shorthanded means playing with one less player on the ice for your team. I lost my son, Alex, to suicide on January 15, 2014. He was a huge hockey fan, so I wanted a team name that represented him well. If you would like to help me raise funds, or just join me in the walk, please consider joining our team.
Our team's fundraising goal is $2,400 in honor of Alex's 24th birthday which we celebrated this past December. I am still stunned to this day by the tremendous generosity that has been received in the past three years as our walk team has been one of the top fundraisers each and every year. THANK YOU! In addition, the 2016 Pittsburgh Out of the Darkness Walk was the 11th largest AFSP Community Walk in the country! I also made the personal decision to become committed to the organization and accepted a position on the board and as Treasurer for the Western PA Chapter. Our chapter’s been on a strong growth path over the past several years. As a result, and thanks to all the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of our communities, we are very proud to say that our chapter was recognized for 2016 as Chapter of the Year in the Mid-Sized Market at last year's AFSP Chapter Leadership Conference.
I would again appreciate any support that you give me for this worthwhile cause this year. Your tax-deductible contribution will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the leader in the fight against suicide. AFSP funds research, offers educational programs, advocates for public policy, and provides support to those affected by suicide.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Western PA Chapter