Ocala Walk

Join us on October 30, 2021

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Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Ocala Walk

The Ocala Out of the Darkness Walk is a special event that provides community, connection, healing, and hope for survivors of suicide loss and those with lived experience.

We are moving forward with plans to host the walk in-person on Saturday, October 30th. By registering, you are joining a strong community united in an effort to fight suicide while showing up for yourself, recognizing and honoring those you love, raising awareness, educating communities, supporting one another, and sharing hope.

Now, more than ever, it's important to be there for one another and take steps to safeguard our mental health and prevent suicide.

Register today to stay up-to-date on the latest news and announcements for the Ocala Walk.  #TogetherToFightSuicide

Every dollar you raise through the Ocala Walk allows AFSP to invest in life-saving research, education, advocacy, and support for those impacted by suicide.

Event Details

Date: 10/30/2021
Location: Sholom Park - 7110 SW 80th Ave. 
Registration: 9:00 am
Event Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Sarah Clark 
Contact Phone: 561-392-7877 
Contact Email: sclark@afsp.org

Registration is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted until December 31st.

Registration & Walk FAQs

Why Register?

We're looking forward to seeing you in person this Fall!  Registered participants no longer need to check-in at the Walk, so we encourage you to register, invite friends, fundraise and donate in advance to make your day-of-event experience as safe and streamlined as possible.  Learn more about our return to in-person events HERE.

When and where is the event taking place?

The event is taking place on Saturday, October 30th, at Sholom Park in Ocala.  You can arrive as early as 9 am.  We will be doing brief remarks at 10 am.   If you are unable to make the event in-person, we would love to have your participate virtually. 

Sholom Park Guidelines:

We ask that you please adhere and follow the park guidelines:

  • Pets are not allowed in the park as they may disturb the natural inhabitants of the parkOnly service animals are permitted, and we ask that you please clean up after your pet.
  • Please do not feed the wildlife within the park, and do not bring or take wildlife to or from the park.
  • Motorized vehicles are not allowed in the park. Exceptions include official Sholom Park vehicles and devices for disabled persons.
  • Skates, skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles and scooters are not permitted.
  • No smoking or vaping is permitted in the Park.
  • Alcohol and illegal drugs are not allowed in the park.
  • Park officials reserve the right to ask visitors to leave park grounds if they are disrupting the tranquility of the park. Future admission may be denied to those who fail to honor the park’s guidelines.

You can visit HERE to view the park and the park's guidelines.  

Walk Route

We will be walking the Prairie Trail Path, along with the Enchanted Forest Path, which totals 0.75 miles.  We encourage you to walks multiple times, but feel free to walk as much or as little, as you need.  All trails are paved.

Is there a registration fee?

No, there is no registration fee to participate.  The event is open to everyone.

Do children need to register?

Children under the age of 12 do not need to register.

Is there a fundraising minimum?

No, but we do strongly encourage each participant to set a minimum $150 fundraising goal to help support AFSP's work to stop suicide and receive the official Ocala Out of the Darkness walk t-shirt!

How do I get a T-Shirt?

Any individual who raises $150 or more will receive our official Ocala Walk t-shirt.  All t-shirts will be mailed after the walk, so make sure your address and t-shirt size are correct and up-to-date.

How do I register and set-up my personal fundraising page?  

Click here to view a step-by-step guide on how to register, log-in and set up your fundraising page.  Refer to page 1 if you’re registering yourself or page 5 if you’re registering someone else through your own account.  Be sure to also check out some of the Frequently Asked Questions on page 10.

From your Dashboard, you will can view your page, edit your profile, make a donation, view donations received, create a Facebook fundraiser, and download resources.

How do I create a team or join a team?

If you’ve already registered and would like to either create a new team or join an existing one, log into your AFSP account and click on the “change team membership” option on the right hand side of your dashboard tab (on mobile you’ll need to click “dashboard” first).

***Team Incentive***

Any Team that raises $500 or more will have their Team Name on the backs of all the t-shirts!

How You Can Help

Become a Sponsor

Sponsoring the Ocala Out of the Darkness Walk shows the community that your organization cares about mental health and suicide prevention.  It shows that you care about your community.  Partner with us to help stop this leading cause of death.  Download the Ocala Walk sponsorship packet.  With opportunities for sponsorship starting at only $250, this is the perfect chance for both large and small businesses to help play a role in making suicide prevention a priority in the community.  All sponsors will receive marketing and publicity benefits.

Promote the Walk in Your Community

Download and share the Ocala Walk Flyer or Social Media Graphic

Share on Social Media

Share your story, post photos, invite others to join you or donate to your fundraising efforts.  Social media is a powerful tool!  Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! Use the hashtags #OutoftheDarkness and #TogetherToFightSuicide

Create a Facebook Fundraiser that Automatically Links to your Account

On Your Computer:  Sign-in to your account.  Go to your Dashboard.  On the right-hand side you will see the "Your Fundraising" tab, click on "Create a Facebook Fundraiser", and follow the steps from there.

On Your Phone:  Sign-in to your account.  Go to your Dashboard.  Scroll until you see the "Your Fundraising" tab, click on "Create a Facebook Fundraiser", and follow the steps from there.

Follow the North Florida Chapter of AFSP's Social Media Pages
Stay up-to-date on upcoming programs and events and stay connected.

Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! Use the hashtags #OutoftheDarkness and #TogetherToFightSuicide

  Follow us on Facebook! Post to your Facebook page and add the direct link to your fundraising page. 


 
  Follow us on Twitter! If you are on Twitter, Tweet about the event. Don’t forget to add #outofthedarkness to your tweets!
 
 

Follow us on Instagram! Share and tag your photos with #outofthedarkness! Spread the word and ask for support by sharing the videos and social shares in the participant hub.

There are many more social media outlets, please use any and all to help promote the event.  One of the best ways to raise awareness and increase understanding is by sharing your story.

Fundraise to Help #StopSuicide

Here are some ideas to help get you started:
  • Make a donation to yourself
  • Start a Facebook fundraiser
  • Share your story
  • Invite your friends and family to join you
  • As 10 friends to donate $10
  • Ask your employer if they do matching gifts
  • For more ideas and tools, visit the Participant Hub

Raise $150 by 10/30/2021 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt!  

Activities of Hope and Healing

We all walk for different reasons. Maybe we have lost a loved one to suicide. Perhaps we walk because we live with a mental health condition. Some of us walk in support of a loved one. The one thing that connects all of us is a desire to stop suicide. 

It is our goal to honor all of the reasons our community members choose to join us on walk day. Whether you spend time talking with one another, enjoying the park, taking a look at our Hope and Healing section, or listening to music, we hope you will find community, connection and inspiration to #BeTheVoice. 

  • Butterfly Station:  Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope and life.  Through many heartfelt stories, we have heard butterflies symbolizing the passing of a loved one, or life struggles that people have endured.  We will have a table with plantable seed paper butterflies.  You can write a loved one’s name on it and take it home with you to plant.  When you get home, soak butterfly in water overnight and then tear up and plant under a thick layer of soil.

  • There will be a selection of AFSP merchandise for sale. Wearing a "HOPE" shirt is a great conversation starter! 
  • Our volunteers are putting together a great selection of raffle items.  Please bring cash for the raffle area.

Honor Beads

Losing someone to suicide or struggling with a mental illness can feel like no one understands what you are going through. Unlike other illnesses, it is difficult to look at someone and know their connection. There is an honor bead for everyone, whether you have lost a loved one, struggle personally, support a friend and/or family member, or all of the above. Learn more by watching our honor bead video.

 

The Out of the Darkness Experience is a journey of remembrance, hope, and support. It unites our communities and provides an opportunity to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.

If you're looking for resources, please visit www.afsp.org/resources.

 

Thank you for your support!