Suicide prevention group plans fundraising walk

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Eileen Buechler’s neices and daughter walk to show support of suicide prevention at last year’s Out of the Darkness Walk in Lake Como. [From left] Janie Patterson, of Sea Girt, Dylan Buechler, of Brielle and Susannah Patterson, of Sea Girt. COURTESY OF EILEEN BUECHLER

LAKE COMO — The 2018 Out of Darkness Jersey Shore Walk will be held at Bar Anticpation in Lake Como on Sept. 15.

The event is presented by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention [AFSP], which holds similar events in in hundreds of cities across the country.

The group’s mission is to give people an opportunity to open up about their struggles and promote change in the culture’s approach to mental health. It has a goal of reducing the national suicide rate by 25 percent by 2025.

Margaret Patterson, of Manasquan has participated in Out of the Darkness walks since she lost her son Patrick four years ago. The walk was previously held at the Manasquan beach front, however, because of the increasing crowds, it is now located in Lake Como, said Ms. Patterson, adding, “It gets more crowded every year.”

Eileen Buechler, her daughter and captain of their walk team, said the 5K event drew 1,400 participants last year and raised $140,000 for AFSP. This year’s goal is $150,000.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.