Florissant’s 10th Suicide Prevention Awareness fundraiser looks to ‘Light the Darkness’ and place a focus on this issue
By Charlotte Beard
Suicide is an issue that cuts across all demographics and touches thousands of lives every year. One St. Louis County community is looking to shine a little light on the issue with an evening of positivity and purpose.
The city of Florissant will host its 10th Suicide Prevention Awareness fundraiser Sept. 22.
The softball tournament and ‘Light the Darkness – Glow Run’ will take place in St. Ferdinand Park located at 25 St Ferdinand Park Dr. in Florissant. The tournament will begin at 10 a.m. and the one-mile walk and 5K run will begin at 7:15 p.m.
The evening’s events will be accompanied by a DJ, food trucks, raffles, a bounce house, neon face painting and more. Sponsors for this year’s fundraiser includes: Our Urgent Care, Trinity Catholic High School, Westport Pools, Mattingly’s Sports Bar & Grill, Resler-Kerber Optometry, Nimmons Wealth Management, Goldkamp Heating & Cooling, Goeke Produce, Mississippi Valley Roofing, Busken Construction Corporation, The Bridge at Florissant – Senior Living Community, River City Rascals, St. Louis Ambush, The Magic House, Landmark Theatres, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and The Pageant.
Beth Carr, Recreation Specialist, shared that the fundraising event began when one of Florissant’s Youth Advisory Commission members lost a friend due to suicide in 2007. “Amanda Fox who is involved as an adult member of the commission had the idea and got it started.”
Historically, the event consisted of a one-mile walk, softball tournament, and a barbeque sale up until 2013 when the 5K was added.
In 2017 Florissant implemented the Glow Run.
At the Glow Run all participants receive a custom glow in the dark event t-shirt along with some glow items. Other glow items will be available for purchase. Those who complete the walk/run will also be given a special glow in the dark medal as they cross the finish line. Though participants will not be timed, a timing clock will be on display at the finish line for those who desire to check their own finish time.
“Last year was a pretty big year when we added the Glow Run,” stated Carr. “We went from about 55 people participating to almost 250. We learned a lot last year; there are things we’re going to make even better this year. We already have 60 people registered and at this time last year we only had two people.”
100 percent of the net proceeds go to the Eastern Missouri Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The funds help the foundation with program initiatives for communities such as the Out of the Darkness Walk that Creve Coeur Park hosted in October 2017. The Out of the Darkness Walk is part of a national movement that includes numerous walks throughout the year.
To register visit https://runsignup.com/Race/MO/Florissant/LightTheDarkness or http://www.florissantmo.com and look for Suicide Prevention Awareness Fundraiser under Parks and Recreation. T-shirt sizes can only be guaranteed to those who register by Aug. 26. Registration is also available at the Florissant centers: James J Eagan Center located at 1 James J Eagan Drive or John F Kennedy Community Center located at 315 Howdershell Rd. Call 314-921-4250 or visit florissantmo.com for more information.