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August 19 04:38 PM
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Making something great from grief


Dear Editor,

I would like to thank Amanda Kniseley for organizing Capac's first annual suicide walk. Her passion to raise awareness is to be commended and I would especially like to thank her for bringing the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to our local town.

My family and I have participated in the 2006 Royal Oak Community Walk in honor of my nephew, Scott, who died in 2002. Having a local chapter will enable us to continue to honor his memory in our own neighborhood. This local event allowed us to share the day with the 35+ other people who braved the elements to walk the track field at the Capac High School, in honor of their loved one.

It was one of those "Michigan" days, rain and heavy winds in the morning, but thankfully cleared just minutes before the walk began. The sun came out and it was a beautiful day for the walk, despite the fact that pea sized hail came down just before the touching balloon release.

Amanda and her staff made it fun with the Halloween parade which offered candy along the track. Free water, cider and donuts as well as efforts to raise money through raffles, and even a masseuse were on hand (for a donation) to soothe those tired muscles after the walk. Thank you to Rebecca for offering Karaoke. We were also able to chat with representatives from Kohl's in Lapeer, who came to support the cause.

Tammy Landry-Gilder, who started the community walks in honor of her father who died eight years ago, spoke at the opening ceremony. She has worked closely with University of Michigan Depression Center and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to bring these walks to our community. Out of her grief came something positive. And out of Amanda's grief, came this local walk.

If you missed the walk and would like to donate, please join Amanda (810) 338-9129 and our family "Scott Bishop's Team" (810) 392-2933 to make something great come out of your grief. Donations for this walk are open until December.

Diane Hulett, Riley Township
October 29, 2008

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