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5K to Raise Funds for Local Suicide Prevention Organization to Take Place in LIC Early Saturday

A 5K walk will take place in Long Island City early Saturday to raise funds for a suicide prevention organization (Photo via Solace House)

June 7, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A 5K run/walk will take place in Long Island City this weekend to raise funds for a suicide prevention organization.

The event, called the Solace Sunrise Walk, kicks off in the early hours of Saturday morning to help raise funds for Solace House, which operates out of the New York Irish Center at 10-40 Jackson Ave. The organization provides free counseling to people contemplating suicide and to individuals who have lost a loved one.

The walk comes a week after the LIC 5K run/walk drew more than 1,400 runners to the neighborhood.

Participants at the Solace Sunrise Walk will leave the New York Irish Center at around 5 a.m. and walk or run along the Hunters Point waterfront before returning to the center.

The 5K will take place simultaneously with two other Solace Sunrise Walk events in New York, which will be held in the Bronx and in Rockland County.

Last year participants raised around $50,000 in total via the various New York Solace Sunrise Walks and organizers say they aim to match that figure this year.

The Solace Sunrise Walk route

The Solace Sunrise Walk is a spinoff of the Darkness into Light Walk, an annual event in Ireland that was started by Irish Senator and psychologist Joan Freeman in 2009.

The Irish walk raises funds for Pieta House, a suicide prevention charity Freeman founded in 2006 in honor of her sister, who committed suicide.

Nearly 120,000 people took part in the Darkness into Light Walk last month, with nearly $4 million raised for the charity.

Freeman founded a branch of Pieta House in Long Island City more than six years ago, which changed its name to Solace House in 2017.

The Sunrise Solace Walk is intended to provide comfort to people who have lost a loved one to suicide and promote suicide awareness, as well as to raise money for the organization.

The walk occurs at such an early hour to represent the darkness people feel when contemplating suicide. The darkness, however, can be followed by the light of dawn, organizers say.

Walkers frequently form connections with the strangers they are marching with because many of them have endured similar experiences, organizers say.

At last year’s event, organizers placed candles all along the 5k route. Candles were also arranged to spell “hope” in front of the Oval at Hunters Point South Park.

Tickets are $40 for adults; $25 for children 12-18 years old and seniors; and free for children under 12.

To register or donate to Solace House click here.

Participants will also be provided with a t-shirt while tea and coffee will be offered at the end of the event.

Candles were arranged to spell “hope” in front of the Oval at Hunters Point South Park. (Photo: Laura Dorgan)

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