BCCTC hosting Warr;or Walk for suicide prevention

Photo provided by Baraga County Communities That Care Last year's participants gather in the L'Anse Waterfront Park.

BARAGA — If you see a poster, sign or Facebook post about Warr;or Walk, the semi-colon is not a typo, it is a message. It refers to Project Semicolon, a non-profit promoting suicide prevention and awareness. The Warr;or Walk is an event Baraga County Communities That Care (BCCTC) is hosting to promote awareness of suicide and the counseling and prevention programs that are available. They aim to support those affected, both emotionally, and financially with the event.

This is the first year for Warr;or Walk. In previous years, the walk for suicide prevention was called Out of the Darkness, which is a series of events put on by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). By running an individual event, BCCTC is able to keep 100 percent of the money raised in Baraga County, rather than having to send a share to the parent organization.

“We’re still walking for suicide prevention,” Carrie Rich, BCCTC coordinator, said. “For right now, we see a need to keep more of the funds here, locally.”

Eventually, Rich says, BCCTC might go back to having AFSP run the event.

Registration for the event opens at 9 a.m. on the day of the event, Sept. 8. At 10 a.m., there will be a welcome followed by guest speaker Rebecca Tervo. Tervo lost her son to suicide and has since written “Shattered,” a best-selling book about dealing with the grief of suicide as a mother. She counsels others and speaks at events regularly, but not usually so close to where her own tragedy occurred.

“We’re very honored that she’s chosen to come to our event this year,” Rich said.

Following Tervo, there will be a memorial bubble release that replaces the balloon release on the fliers. The change was made to make the event more environmentally friendly, but after the fliers had been printed.

After the bubble release, the 2-mile walk will begin. While people are encouraged to stay for the entire event, there is no requirement to complete the entire walk, or be present for the welcoming and talk.

“Sometimes it’s too much, people can’t be there,” Rich said.