CAMBRIDGE -- The children of a local attorney who committed suicide last year have organized an "Up with Life" 4K Community Walk for Suicide Awareness and Prevention.|
The walk will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, starting and ending at College Square Park.
Alyssa Smith, a 2012 graduate of Cambridge High School, and the driving force behind the event, said "We created 'Up with Life' to raise money to help increase suicide awareness and prevention programs.
"The more awareness there is out there, the more people may be willing to talk about it. This is a way we can fight the possibility of suicide and be 'Up with Life' instead."
Ms. Smith's father, Scott "Skeet" Smith, a Cambridge lawyer and the village attorney, committed suicide on April 3, 2011.
Proceeds from the walk will be used on suicide prevention programs at Cambridge and AlWood schools and to suppoprt suicide awareness and prevention organizations in surrounding areas. Suggestions will be taken.
Alyssa's mother, Beth Smith, said the walk is a way to show support for those who have had family or friends who suffer with mental illness. She noted it's not something people readily bring up.
"People in our community and from the area have been nothing but supportive," said Mrs. Smith. "We have over 300 people at this time, so we're very blessed with that. I guess you don't realize how many lives are affected by suicide. It's so much more common than people think."
Alyssa said she is very pleased with interest to date, and some people are paying the $15 entry fee (which includes a T-shirt) and not even walking in Cambridge, but in their local community for someone they know. "We're really happy," she said.
The event will include refreshments, entertainment, a message board and a balloon release. Participants choose the color of balloon they wish to release and Alyssa said most have chosen yellow to walk for the cause or green to walk for a friend. The next most common balloon color will be orange, representing walking for another family member such as uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents.
"White is suicide survivors and we have quite a few people signed up for that," Aly noted.
Check-in starts at noon and the walk will start at 1 p.m. To register or for more information contact the Smiths at 937-5152 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Advance registration may also be done on their website at upwithlife-suicideprevention.com.
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