Group holds suicide prevention walk

Community HOPE for Suicide Prevention volunteers shown here, from left, front, Andrea Howorth, co-chairwoman; Jerah Waitrovich; Joah Waitrovich; Felicia Hall; Carole Waitrovich, chairwoman; Mike Holmberg; second row, Bernice St. John; Heather Troyer, Beacon Ambulance; Ashley Holcomb, Beacon Ambulance; David Howorth Jr.; Julie Fende; Dawn Archambeault; Dylan Hagerty; third row, Jonah Waitrovich; Randall St. John; Pat St. John; Ted Jensen, treasurer; Leon Waitrovich II; Paul Archambeault.

Community HOPE for Suicide Prevention volunteers shown here, from left, front, Andrea Howorth, co-chairwoman; Jerah Waitrovich; Joah Waitrovich; Felicia Hall; Carole Waitrovich, chairwoman; Mike Holmberg; second row, Bernice St. John; Heather Troyer, Beacon Ambulance; Ashley Holcomb, Beacon Ambulance; David Howorth Jr.; Julie Fende; Dawn Archambeault; Dylan Hagerty; third row, Jonah Waitrovich; Randall St. John; Pat St. John; Ted Jensen, treasurer; Leon Waitrovich II; Paul Archambeault.

IRON MOUNTAIN — Community HOPE for Suicide Prevention held its 9th Annual Walk and Picnic on Saturday at City Park. There were more than 100 participants and more than $1,000 was raised.

During the event, Community HOPE provided a picnic lunch, had games, coloring, face painting, and a bouncy house and live music from Mike Holmberg.

Holmberg has lost an uncle to suicide and had started rapping at 9 years old and is inspired to write his music from his struggles in his own life.

A balloon release was held just before the group started its walk up West A Street, across Kimberly Avenue and down West B Street back to City Park where a silent moment was held in honor of our veterans who have died by suicide.

Chairperson Carole Waitrovich announced that this is the last year that Community HOPE for Suicide Prevention will be hosting the event.

“I am very thankful and truly blessed for all the volunteers that have helped throughout the years since the event started in 2009,” she said.

Waitrovich added there may be some interest of others continuing the event through American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Out of the Darkness walks are held nationwide.

Waitrovich also thanked the businesses and others that have donated to help raise awareness.

“In the past nine years the group has worked hard making awareness to break the stigma on mental health, depression and suicide and to let our community be aware that there is help out there when those that struggle are suicidal,” she said.

The group has held awareness events, participated in the 4th of July parade for eight years, hosted annual Christmas parties, and held fundraisers at Walmart and Econo Foods while distributing awareness materials and warning signs wallet cards. Group members have also been involved in public speaking, holding monthly planning meetings, organizing a survivor support group, and hosting the annual walk event.

If anyone is interested in volunteering to hold the Walk Event please contact Carole Waitrovich at 906-396-7819 or praisegod63@hotmail.com.

If you are struggling with depression please contact the National Suicide Prevention crisis line at 800-273-8255.

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