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Letter: Thanks for supporting this year's 'Out of Darkness' walk

On behalf of the North Dakota Chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, I want to thank the 2,000 walkers in the Fargo-Moorhead community for helping us raise more than $100,000 at the 13th annual "Out of Darkness" walk Sept. 9.

We'd also like to thank our generous sponsors, announcer, and musicians.

The F-M community demonstrates the belief that we are all seeking a connection. We desire an experience where we can hear another person say "I hear you," "I understand," "You are not alone." This confirms the Sept. 2018 Harris Poll results that show Americans (94 percent) believe that suicide can be prevented, and most (94 percent) would take action to help someone close to them who was thinking about suicide. Every dollar raised through the Out of the Darkness Community Walk is used by the American Foundation for Suicide for research. In 2017, AFSP invested over $4 million dollars in 40 research studies for a total of $18 million in the last five years. The AFSP ND Chapter will use the dollars raised to bring our voice and policy change to the Advocacy Day at the State Capitol, continue to offer our in-home visitation program for survivors, and fund the first LGBTQ+ Stronger Communities Conference to Fargo in April 2019.

My heartfelt gratitude to Fargo-Moorhead and all of the surrounding communities involved in helping us save lives and bring hope to those who have been affected by suicide.

Weiler is a loss survivor, North Dakota Chapter Board chairwoman and AFSP Chapter Leadership Council member.

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