BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A community comes together. A race with no finish line, all for a good cause.
“It’s going to be a 24-hour event and it’s going to be a run or walk scenario. Every hour on the hour we start another loop, which is a three-mile loop,” Brian Rosser, event creator said.
Traversing the backroads of Bloomsburg, the run and walk for suicide prevention enters its second year, honoring the life of Kyle Ray Brophy who passed in October of 2018.
“Unfortunately I had a friend that left a little bit too early. I wanted to do something to bring out awareness for the situation. He always backed me up on all my crazy antics with running so I thought ‘hey, let’s do something a bit out of the ordinary to attract people to an event to raise awareness’,” Rosser said.
The 2019 installment? A swiftly planned gathering attracting much more than the immediate friends of the departed.
“Not everybody knew the person that affected me. Everybody had their own person or individual that they were running in honor of or walking in honor of. We did have a few people that traveled a few hours, actually. They did a few laps but life was a little bit different then. They were able to break off and do other things to make a day out of it,” Rosser said.
Tawnya Hemsarth and company at the Purple Cow Winery, are proud to host for the second year in a row, with safety being paramount in the age of coronavirus.
“We’re asking if you enter the tasting room that you wear a mask to protect everybody including the employees. We’re out in the country. There’s plenty of room for everybody so we are staggering when you begin running,” Hemsarth said.
“The main factor is that it’s outdoors so that’s a big thing. The social distancing aspect is going to be done to the best of our abilities,” Rosser said.
Everyone involved in 2019 and this time around, again, leaning on the community to bring something taboo into a welcoming and supportive environment.
“I feel like within our community and even outside, and it just keeps branching and getting larger and larger, everybody is family that shows up here. It’s like once you come into this valley you’re automatically family,” Hemsarth said.
And for those who can’t make it?
“I would like them to do whatever they can at home whether it’s a small amount of exercise, a walk with the dog or just something to attribute and post to the page. ‘I did this in honor of somebody’,” Rosser said.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than 48,000 people were lost to suicide and an estimated 1.4 million tried. But there is hope on these roads.
Money raised will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.