Every year is a tough one for suicide. 2018 has been particularly difficult.
A rash of deaths — of celebrities, veterans and young people — has highlighted the enormity of the issue, for those who die by their own hand, and those they leave behind.
This Saturday (October 27) marks the 10th year that Team Emma participates in the Out of the Darkness Walk at Sherwood Island State Park. Friends and family will remember a vibrant high school student and daughter of Saugatuck Elementary School teacher Peter von Euler, who took her own life more than a decade ago.
For the 3rd year, another team will walk in memory of Cody Thomas, a beloved Staples High School English teacher.
Sherwood Island State Park. (Photo/Oliva Schoen)
No one in Westport has not been impacted by suicide. So far, 65 teams and over 450 walkers — of all ages — have registered. They’ve already raised over $90,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
On Saturday, they’ll join in a flat 2 1/2-mile loop around Sherwood Island. They’ll enjoy serene views of Long Island Sound, and the 9-11 Memorial.
They’ll think of the men, women and children they miss. And they’ll do all they can to ensure that no one else will walk in their shoes.
(Registration begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The walk starts at 12 noon, and ends around 2 p.m. Online registration closes at noon on Friday. However, on-site registrants are welcome. For more information, click here.)
For a few months now, the Westport Arts Center’s “MORE Than Words” exhibit has highlighted the importance of courage, resilience and empowerment in the face of bullying.
It’s emboldened a variety of voices to speak out about the positive effects of empathy and kindness, and the negative results of exclusion.
No one knows that subject better than teenagers. On January 29, their voices will be heard — loud and clear.
SlamJam (5 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse) is an evening of performances by Fairfield County teens. They’ll express how they feel about their stressful social world, and promote a kinder, more inclusive community.
Songs, spoken word, rap, dance, music and film are some of the performance art genres on tap. Performers will come from Westport and area towns — including students from Bridgeport’s All-Star Project and Neighborhood Studios.
The emcee is Ceez Liive. The very cool poetry slam-winning artist from the Bronx performed at Staples a few years ago to great acclaim. Check her out below:
The event is produced by SKATEmovement. The acronym stands for Spreading Kindness and Teaching Empathy — an anti-bullying organization that teaches teens to be role models for younger children. All proceeds go to the Southern Connecticut branch of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
These are our teenagers. They have plenty to say.
And very creative, powerful ways of saying it.
(SlamJam is appropriate for middle schoolers and up. Tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for students and seniors. Click here to order. For $150 VIP seating, including pre- and post-show events, call 203-227-4177.)
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