Second Annual ‘Warr;or Walk’ Helps Remove Stigma of Suicide

   Written by on September 28, 2017 at 11:15 am

By April Hall, Staff Writer

warr;or walkCHARLOTTE COURT HOUSE – A large crowd of nearly 140 people gathered Saturday night, September 23, to participate in the second annual “Warr;or Walk” hosted by Bridgette Malsbury, Dianne Tuck and Anne Waters, to help raise awareness of suicide. All of these ladies have lost family members to suicide and are continuing the event in hopes of making the stigma surrounding suicide less taboo and to bring awareness.

“Time does not heal the hurt and loss, but it’s what a person does with and in that time, that can help to heal,” said Malsbury. “I’ve found a sense of peace and purpose in this time, I’ve found my new normal is to give honor to my sister’s life, to not let her death be in vain, but a way to share there is hope and each of us can make a difference.”

The event which coincided with Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, began with participants gathering at the Charlotte County Administration Building in Charlotte Court House, with registration held at 5:30 p.m. and the walk starting at 6 p.m. The walk, which wound its way through the Town of Charlotte Court House, ended back at the administration building. In addition to the walk, a 5K run was added to this year’s event. Thirteen people signed up for the 5K, with eight of those competing. Winners included 1st place, Rachael Clark, 2nd place, Tara Corsini and 3rd place, Rachel Canada. Prizes awarded were donated by Hite’s Clothing Store of Clarksville. Money raised from the 5K registrations will benefit the “Warr;or Walk” Scholarship Fund.

Food Lion of Chase City helped fuel the walkers/runner’s thirsts from the warm September evening by donating cases of water to the event.

Prior to a candlelight vigil led by Malsbury, Tammy Brankley, guest speaker, shared her story of trials and struggles as well as triumphs with mental health, depression and PTSD and how “her story isn’t over yet.” She encouraged anyone struggling with depression or contemplating suicide to “seek help and to know that your life matters.”

The names of those lost to suicide were read aloud just before the candles were lit and the crowd joined in singing “Amazing Grace,” just before the candles were blown out.

“We would like to thank everyone who came out, it is an amazing thing to watch our cause grow each year. Raising awareness and stopping the stigma is so very important,” stated Waters. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.”

“Not only is the walk a way to remember those lost, but also a way to shed light on prevention. There is help available,” said Malsbury. “We want anyone who may be contemplating suicide to know that help is out there – talk to a friend, talk to a preacher, seek counseling, call the suicide hotline. You are not alone and your life matters.”

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours a day, every day and can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255, also available 24/7 is The Crisis Line of Central Virginia at 888-947-9747.

This year’s event raised $1,138 through t-shirt sales, 5K entries and generous donations from the community.

Photos by April Hall.

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