Hundreds walk to honor loved ones

Hundreds walk to honor loved ones

For the first time, the annual Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk took place in Jenks Saturday at the Riverwalk Crossing.

Hundreds of people came to honor their loved ones. Heather Borsuk, Out of the Dark Suicide Prevention Walk Team Member, said the 2020 version of the event went well.

“It was really amazing,” Borsuk said. “I feel like we have received nothing but positive feedback from the vendors, volunteers and participants. We spaced the time out, so people could come and walk if they were concerned about being in a group, but most of the participants still came during the 10 a.m. to noon time slot. We had about 500 walkers. I was impressed with how many people came out.”

Borsuk said the support they received from local businesses was incredible.

“We had a lot of support from so many businesses,” Borsuk said. “I would like to thank everyone at the Riverwalk Crossing and Mike Givens with Invisible Man Productions for hosting this event.”

Here is list of the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk Corporate Sponsors, In-Kind Sponsors, Volunteers, and Vendors:

CORPORATE SPONSORS

-Sonshine Foundation

-Postal Annex

-Forest Ridge

IN-KIND SPONSORS

-Burn Co. Barbeque

-Burn Boot Camp

-Pedego Electric Bikes

-Los Cabos Mexican Grill

-Andolini’s

-Sam’s Club

-Quik Trip

-Costco

-Panera

VOLUNTEERS

-Hallow Music

-Battle Creek Church

-Jr. League Tulsa

-Team Beauty for Ashes

-Team Suicide Prevention

-Empowered Voices

-ACT Suicide Loss Support Group

VENDORS

-WarHawks PTSD Service Dogs

-Team Suicide Prevention

-Hope is Oxygen

-Light of Hope

-Together Just

-Celebrate Recovery

-The Demand Project

-Balcony Women

-Defending Dignity

-Tristesse Grief Center

-Youth Services

-Veteran Crisis Line

-Battle Creek Church

Rikki Cost provided the photography for the event and Shannon Schwartz ran the Facebook Live.

“Hallow Music was there and having the band made the atmosphere really beautiful in such a really hard time,” Borsuk said. “Some people that walked had just lost someone to suicide and some people, it has been 20 years and they are still walking to honor them and to have that uplifting band was great. One Fire with Creek Nation was also there Saturday, and I am very thankful for them. There was a spirit of hope. The speakers were amazing.”

The speakers for the event were Mike Brose with the Mental Health Association, Aaron Ashworth with Veteran Mental Health and Emily Farmer with Teen and Young Adult Mental Health.

“The amount of resources and vendors that were there were outstanding,” Borsuk said. “The resources, the hope and encouragement in the face of a pandemic was absolutely breathtaking. We fought really hard to and have it live and in person. It truly felt like people were blessed for being there.”

Borsuk said they would like to have the event in Jenks again next year.

“We have a tentative date for next year set up and we are just waiting to sign the contract if they will have us back at the Riverwalk Crossing,” Borsuk said. “We would love to have it their again. It is such a beautiful venue and such an awesome atmosphere.”

Borsuk said the guest speakers all had touching messages to share, but one message stuck out to her from Saturday about the perspective on mental health.

“It’s just like cancer or diabetes,” Borsuk said of the message that resonated with her. “Sometimes it is treatable, sometimes it is manageable, sometimes it is fatal. It’s just like any other illness, we just don’t treat it like that. If you ask a friend to go to the movies and they are home with the flu, they will say no, I can’t go I have the flu. Someone who is struggling with depression, doesn’t say I am depressed today and can’t get out of bed. They hide it. To have an environment and a place to be able to talk about it was something a lot of people took away. I feel like it was an opportunity for healing. It was a beautiful day, grueling but gratifying.”

MORE SIGHTS FROM SATURDAY’S OUT OF THE DARKNESS WALK

Kyle Salomon

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