It will be the most comforting, nurturing stroll these folks take this year. Hundreds will traverse the Walkway Over the Hudson this fall during the Out of the Darkness Community Walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
You’ll see teams of walkers sporting T shirts with the names and faces of loved ones lost to suicide. They will wear a variety of colored beads, each signifying a particular form of loss- white beads mean the loss of a child; orange, the loss of a sibling; gold, the loss of a parent. If you struggle with your own thoughts of suicide, there are green beads there for you.
Thomas Sherwood and his wife Marie will be walking with Team Joe. Thomas will wear orange in honor of his brother Joey who died five years ago. They will be joined by Joey’s widow Joy- she’ll be wearing red.
The mood will be, at times, surprisingly upbeat, because they are a gathering of kindred spirits – they understand what each other is going through far better than the outside world can know. Their mantra is “You’re not alone”. That’s where the nurturing and comforting come in.
But there will be somber reflection too as people step to the microphone to tell of their loss ” I am wearing white today because I lost my twin boys, both of them” Their words yank at your heart. Maybe these expressions are cathartic for them- I hope so.
But this event is also a fundraiser. The teams seek donations to help support the important work that the AFSP does.
They teach grade schoolers about mental health, continue research into what causes people to attempt suicide, and educate the general population about what behaviors to look for and how to get help for someone who exhibits those warning signs.
The AFSP mission is to decrease suicides 20% by 2025.
Thomas is raising funds now. If you would like to support him please go here: https://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/Thomas-Sherwood
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.
Nearly 50,000 Americans die each year from suicide.
To learn more about AFSP’s good work visit https://afsp.org/
To learn more about the Out of the Darkness Dutchess/Ulster County Community Walk on Sept. 27th visit: http://sportingacause.com/event/dutchess-ulster-…s-community-walk/
To learn more about the Out of the Darkness Berkshire County Community Walk on Oct. 3rd visit: http://sportingacause.com/event/out-of-the-darkn…re-county-walk-2/.
Here is a list of sports-related fundraiser updates in the Tri-State area through July 2020. For some, there is unhappy news as organizers have had to cancel events, but for others- hope as events have been altered or postponed to perhaps a safer time.
These are uncertain times for sure, but one thing is most certain- many local charities that help our neighbors in need are themselves now in need. They have been wounded by canceled or altered fundraisers that they rely on each year to fulfill their missions. Donations could well be down with many donors unemployed and supportive businesses closed. And if that isn’t bad enough, demands for charities’ services have increased because of pandemic-related issues.
So when the appeal letters from your favorite charities arrive in the mail, please, if you are able, add something extra to your usual gift.
Litchfield/Morris Rotary Club Golf Tournament Canceled
United Way/Charlie Ormsby Golf Tournament Postponed , date TBD
Maplebrook School Golf Tournament Canceled
Litchfield Open Postponed, TBD
Torrington Child Care Center Golf Tournament Canceled
John Vendetti K 0f C Golf Tournament Canceled
Immaculate Conception Church Golf Outing Canceled
Oliver Wolcott Golf Scramble Canceled
Torrington/Winsted Rotary Golf Tournament Canceled
Thomas Berlinghoff Memorial Golf Tournament Canceled
Drive for a Cure Golf Tournament Canceled
UNICO Golf Tournament Postponed to Oct 5th
Roeliff Jensen Community Library Golf Tournament Canceled
Great Barrington Rotary Golf Tournament Canceled
Tee Up For Autism Canceled
Ancrum Fire Co, Golf Tournament On- details to come
Isaiah Lamb Annual Golf Tournament Canceled
HYSB Annual Golf Tournament Canceled
Salisbury Cricket Club Cricket Match Postponed, hopefully in September
Dutchess Dragon Boat Race Canceled
Dutchess County Fair Canceled
Goshen Fair Canceled
Jaime Kirchner Wheels & Heels Race Canceled
OK 5K Race Canceled
Peach Hill Park 5K Canceled
Hopped Up for Health Run and Bike Canceled
Ryan McElroy 5K/10K Canceled
Relay for Life Berkshire County Postponed TBD
Vegan 50K Virtual
Wild Thing 5K/10K Virtual
Discover Hudson Valley Bike Ride Canceled
Pittsfield BMC Independence Day 5K Canceled
Run Around the Lake Still On!
Angevine Farm Half Marathon Postponed TBD
Litchfield Hills Triathlon Canceled
Hopkins Vineyard Triathlon On for now
Sandy Beach Triathlon Canceled
Insane Inflatable 5K Virtual
Jane Lloyd Fund Clambake Canceled, Hope to hold some event later
Jug End Ultra Virtual
Never Say No 5K May go Virtual
Canaan Rail Road Days 5 Mile Run Canceled
Harlem Valley Rail Ride Date moved to Aug 30th
Junk Yard Dogs Half Marathon Still on, details to come
We will always find ways to express ourselves, no matter how onerous the restraints. We can’t get together to celebrate a birthday or play a game, we can’t gather to mourn a loss, we can’t stand within two arm lengths of each other. Fine.
But dammit we can get in our cars and drive!
Around 40 cars worth of parade wound their way past fire houses and ambulance garages and health care facilities today to celebrate National Superheroes Day and to honor our first responders and health care heroes. Well-wishers held signs and waved from their vehicles, and at each facility along the route the heroes waved back.
Ten or 20 years from now when we look back on the Pandemic of 2020, one of the defining images of that time will be of people in their cars holding signs and paper hearts out of their windows, waving and calling out – not touching or hugging but still showing the love.
Thanks to the Tri-State Chamber of Commerce and Lime Rock Park and all of the big-hearted people who put on this moving display. And of course thanks to the heroes.
Event organizers are waiting as long as they possibly can before making the gut-churning decision to cancel or maybe postpone their fundraisers. So much is at stake after all- hours of planning expended, sponsorship money gathered from businesses and already spent, and of course, the prospect of losing the funds that the event would provide – funds that already hold a place in charities’ budget projections.
As Covid-19 chugs along, a 30 day yardstick seems to be the unofficial measurement where charities decide to throw in the towel. 100% of the sports-related fundraisers on sportingAcause.com have been cancelled, postponed or altered for the months of April and May. These are mini tragedies in an ocean of Covid- induced tragedies.
The latest event changes on the sportingAcause.com website include the cancellation of the Litchfield Hills Road Race; Line Rock Park has postponed both its season-opening Touring Car Festival (date to be determined) and the Memorial Day Classic (new date Oct. 16-17). Also, the entire Walk MS series through June has become virtual.
Here is the list of April and May events that have been cancelled, postponed or virtualized.
Bring On the Heat 4th Annual 5K (Bethlehem, CT) rescheduled to July 25th
Arlington Education Foundation 5K Run/Walk (Lagrange. NY) Cancelled
Shane Kinsella Memorial 5 Mile Run (Goshen, CT) Rescheduled to Sept. 12th
Upton Lake Christian School Eagle Run (Clinton Corners, NY) Rescheduled to Sept. 12th
Wellness 5K (Pittsfield, MA) Cancelled
Kiwanis Kingston 5K (Kingston, NY) Cancelled
Ride 1 Rally at Lime Rock Park (Lime Rock, CT) postponed date TBA
Spring Splash (Lakeville, CT) Cancelled
Gilbert Blue and Gold 5K and Golf Tournament (Winsted, CT) Cancelled
Angel in the Infield Softball Tournament (Canaan, CT) Cancelled
Kentucky Derby Social (Salisbury, CT) Rescheduled to Sept. 5th
Touring Car Festival at Lime Rock Park (Lime Rock, CT) Postponed date TBA
Sharon Classic 35th Annual Road Race (Sharon. CT) Rescheduled to Sept. 26th.
Sean’s Ride and Sean’s Run (Chatham, NY) Cancelled
Girls Just Wanna Run 5K (Litchfield, CT) Cancelled
Retro Run 5K (Morris, CT) Cancelled
Kenny Krom Memorial Basketball Game (Sheffield, MA) Cancelled
Arrest and Extinguish ALS (Lenox, MA) Cancelled
Touring Car Festival at Lime Rock Park (Lakeville, CT) Postponed date TBD
NW CT Rod and Gun Club Steel Challenge Pistol Match (Canaan, CT) Postponed TBD
Annual Women’s Running Race (Pittsfield, MA) Virtual
Wa Wa Wally Waddle (Poughkeepsie, NY) Virtual
AFSP Run For Hope (Bethlehem, CT) Postponed to June 6th
Camphill Village 5K ( Copake, NY) Postponed Date TBD
Steel Rail Half Marathon (Lanesboro, MA) Virtual
Shine On 5K ( Burlington, CT) Rescheduled to Sept. 20th
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes SBA Project (Litchfield, CT) Postponed Date TBD
Barkhamsted Elementary School Annual River Run 5K (Barkhamsted, CT) Cancelled
Relay For Life Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY) Postponed Date TBD
Berkshire South Community Center 8th Annual 5K Run (Great Barrington, MA) Virtual
Litchfield/Morris Rotary Club Golf Tournament ( Fairview Farm ) Cancelled
United Way/Charlie Ormsby Golf Tournament (Torrington CC) Rescheduled to June 15th, may re-reschedule
Berkshire County ARC Golf Tournament (Berkshire Hills CC) Postponed Date TBD
Litchfield Hills Road Race (Litchfield, CT) Cancelled
Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park (Lakeville, CT) Postponed to Oct. 16-17
A patch of good news in a fear-soddened world. Yesterday the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development sent a statement to the Canaan Country Club that Connecticut golf courses can open/reopen as long as they follow CDC guidelines. That means restaurants associated with the golf courses will remain closed and golfers must abide by the new rules of conduct in a coronavirus world.
Just this morning New York State informed the New York State Golf Association that New York State golf courses can reopen, again, subject to CDC guidelines.
As of this morning(March 26th) Massachusetts courses are still closed.
This is wonderful news! The governments, both state and federal hamstrung themselves with their own wording. Using the word “nonessential” to define businesses that must shut down, they included enterprises like golf courses which can of course conduct business in a safe manner.
As soon as I learn of any changes for Massachusetts I will let you know.
Just a few weeks ago, the first time I saw an image of the coronavirus it reminded me of a Nerf ball- something a child would play with, not the fearful, hateful thing it has so quickly come to symbolize.
The scroll at the bottom of the TV screen during the evening news last night seemed like the Storm of the Century was upon us – schools closed, senior centers, town libraries, day care centers, all closed. But then, unprecedented in my experience, the scroll continued past the news through the rest of last night’s programming as event closings grew in number.
“Unprecedented” is a word we’re seeing a lot lately. All major sports programs are shut down- the NBA, NHL, MLB have ended their seasons or at least “postponed” them. The NCAA Basketball Tournament is history. March Madness has a new meaning now.
And the speed of change is breathtaking. We don’t like change usually, but if it must, let it be in a measured, considered manner, extended over time. Two days ago, Connecticut high school athletes were protesting the “unfair” abrupt cancellation of all state sports tournaments . No one is protesting now.
Most of the weekend sports-related fundraisers in our area have been postponed. Here is a list of those events that appear on sportingAcause.com.
Retro Dodge Ball Tournament, Litchfield- postponed, hope to play at a later date.
VFW Couch-Pipa Bunco Tournament, North Canaan- postponed until a later date.
Hoops For Hope, Poughkeepsie – postponed until a later date.
Shamrock Run, Kingston – postponed until a later date.
NW CT Rod and Gun Club Ham Shoot – still on for now.
Stay safe my friends, and welcome to the new normal.