James Madison University

Out of the Darkness Campus Walk Held

IMAGE: Darkness Walk
On Sunday, March 30, walkers braved the snow, sleet, rain, and wind to participate in the fourth annual Out of the Darkness Walk. Supported by the Central Valley Counselors Association and hosted by the officers and members of JMU's Chi Sigma Iota, the event raises funds for research and services sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  This year, the event raised over $6,000!  More importantly, the walk provided relatives and friends a meaningful opportunity to share their memories of loved ones lost to suicide, offer support to one another, educate the public regarding this important issue, and honor the resilience of the human spirit. You can find 38 photos of the volunteers and walkers who participated this year at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmucounseling/sets/72157643209575964/.

Thanks to all of you who worked so long and hard to make this event such a success!  Lisa Ellison, who had started this annual project, was unable to participate this year due to illness. Jay Hayden, a CSI officer, welcomed the participants with a message of hope: “To the newly bereaved, we wish you peace and patience in the times ahead.  To those grappling with depression, we wish you light in the darkness. To those plagued by guilt, we wish you gentle understanding and reassurance. To those unable to cry, we wish you healing tears.”

The success of yesterday's program would not have been possible without the active involvement of dozens of CSI officers and members, the CSI advisor Debbie Sturm, JMU counseling students and alumni, and community volunteers.  Thanks and congratulations, everybody, on an outstanding accomplishment!