Editor:

Vickie Bricker and myself, co-chairs for Tuscarawas/Carroll County's first Out of Darkness Walk to raise funds for suicide prevention, would like to thank our sponsors:

Quanex IG, Lauren Int., Ace, Superb Industries, Union Hospital, and the ADAMHS Board, as well as Don Liedtke, D.J., Kathleen Novacheck Johnson of the YMCA for yoga before the walk, our speakers: Eric Hipple and his daughter, Tarah, Jayde Bricker, Belle Everett, the Rev. Bracken Foster, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and donations of refreshments from: Stephanie Dunn, Becky Nelson, Domino Pizza of Newcomerstown, ACE, Toland-Herzig/Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home, Coshocton Hospital, Walmart of New Philadelphia, CCX, Mary Lynn Berkshire of Studio 3, Frontier Communications, Tricia Buss, Lori Herman, Kathie Carr, Angie Russell, Richell Leftler, Debbie Elliott, and Tri-County Auxiliary. Thanks for the publicity: Newcomerstown News and the Times-Reporter. NERS for providing emergency service. Photographers Carol Meek and Sarah Williams. Thanks to special volunteer Devaney Phillips, balloons for the balloon launch from The Silkworm. A very special thank you to the Newcomertown High School and staff for the use of the high school, grounds, and equipment, plus the Newcomerstown High School football team for running our concession stand.

A special thanks also goes out to our volunteers, survivors, walks and supporters of suicide prevention. We could not have had this success the first year of our walk without each and every one of you -- your participation this year brings our nation closer to reducing the annual suicide rate by 20 percent in 2025.

Too, we could of not of done this without the valuable assistance from our planning committee for the Out of Darkness Walk - Todd Little, Dave Schaffer, Karen Stokey, Mary Ann Otte, Lindsey Bryan, Karen Wallick, Melissa Betts, Beshell Laizure, Emily Miller, Jen Coventry, Jayde Bricker - plus our Accounting Staff: Amanda Phillips and Stephanie Smith.

If we missed anyone at all, we apologize -- and we thank you

We had 257 walkers and the walk raised $10,000 to date for funds for suicide prevention. All funds will remain in our local counties. Donations will be accepted on line for this year's walk until Dec. 31. You can search Out Of Darkness Walks go to Community Walks -- pick our walk and click on the button to donate. Again, thank you for your support in 2015 -- we were very touched and appreciative of all who made our first year of the walk a huge success. As survivors of suicide, Vickie and I felt like the our message was well received at the walk -- and that was our goal -- make the stigma go away -- thus making people more apt to get help for mental illness, and ending death by suicide forever.

We will see you next year for the 2016 Out of Darkness Walk for Tuscarawas/Carroll and Guernsey (counties) will all three host next year at Lee Stadium.

Kristie Wilkin

Vickie Bricker

Newcomerstown