Walk aims to bring depression, suicide out of the dark

It's not an easy thing to talk about, so more often than not, it goes unmentioned. But covering up the problem doesn't make it go away.

Suicide is a serious issue in the United States. Every 16 minutes, someone dies from suicide. That's about 90 people a day, and more than 30,000 a year, according to information from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

For some these are mere statistics, but for Karen DeLaney and her family, suicide is an all-too-real occurrence. Last year, DeLaney's 16-year-old son, Kyle, became one of thousands of people who lost a battle with depression.

To honor her son and bring suicide awareness to the community, DeLaney, along with area resident Scott Yoder and the AFSP, are hosting the Out of the Darkness 5K Community Walk this weekend.

Out of the Darkness walks are held at various times throughout the country, with more than 1,000 walkers in 100 communities participating each year. These community walks are an effort to break the silence often surrounding suicide and depression, as well as raise money for further research and educational programs on the issue.

The three- to five-mile walks are open to the public, and there is no minimum fee to participate. DeLaney set her own goal to raise $150, which she has surpassed. Contributions received through the walks are used by the suicide prevention foundation to increase research to better understand factors leading to suicide and sponsor suicide educational programs on college campuses, as well as other initiatives.

In the metro area, two walks will be held in the next few months. DeLaney's walk will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and there is a $3 parking fee at the park. To register or for more information, e-mail walk coordinator Scott Yoder at scott_yoder@bellsouth.net.

On Oct. 14, a walk will be held at 2 p.m. at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. Registration begins at 1 p.m. To register or for more information, e-mail walk coordinator Chris Owens at COwens@afsp.org.

Visit www.outofthedarkness.org.

Bonefish celebrates opening with fundraising gala

Patrons wined, dined and spread goodwill at the recent pre-opening gala at Bonefish Grill in Snellville. The chic seafood franchise celebrated its recent Gwinnett opening with a fundraiser sneak preview dinner Aug. 18, raising $6,672 for the Gwinnett Children's Shelter.

The 150 attendees sampled signature items from Bonefish's menu, including Bang Bang Shrimp, Lily's chicken and pomegranate martinis. A silent auction featured high-end wine baskets, dinner for 10 at Bonefish Grill, golf packages, Atlanta Falcons tickets and local spa packages.

Bonefish Grill is located at 1350 Scenic Highway in The Avenue Webb Gin, Snellville. Call 678-344-8945 or visit www.bonefishgrill.com.

Gwinnett residents aid in school's relocation

Gwinnett residents Marisha Thevenin and Jenny Jenkins joined more than 100 college-age individuals from around the metro area on Aug. 18 to volunteer for the Sophia Academy, a school for children with learning differences in DeKalb County.

Participants from 60 north Atlanta congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped move desks, tables, books and other items to the academy's new location.

March of Dimes calls for baby stories

The March of Dimes has launched "Every Baby Has a Story," an online video contest. The public service videos will be used to help raise awareness about infant issues, such as premature birth.

Submissions should tell the story of individual babies, either healthy or unhealthy. The winner will receive a $5,000 grand prize, and the advertisement will be promoted in March of Dimes commercials. The deadline to submit a video is Sept. 28, and winners will be announced in December. Visit www.marchofdimes.com.

Mimi's Cafe donates free meals

To kick off the 2007-08 school year, Mimi's Cafe restaurants nationwide donated more than 2 million kid's meals to recognize student excellence both inside and outside the classroom.

Mimi's Cafe will also provide more than 300,000 Certificates of Appreciation to help principals honor teachers, office administrators and parent volunteers for their dedication and commitment to youth. Visit www.mimiscafe.com.

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Anna Ferguson at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308, or anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com.