URI to host 5K run, Out of Darkness Walk to fight suicide

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Marc’s Awareness and Research to Combat Suicide 5K Run new this year

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 15, 2014 – Each fall during the last five years, hundreds of University of Rhode Island students, faculty and staff have participated in the “Out of the Darkness” campus walk to raise money and awareness to combat suicide.

This year’s walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Oct. 26 will be joined by a run to honor Marc Abrams, the son of URI alumni Robert “Bob” Abrams and Joy Abrams, who recently died by suicide.

“We are very pleased and honored to have Bob, Joy and their family members add to what is a very important initiative at URI,” said Sarah Miller, coordinator of URI’s Feinstein Civic Engagement Program. “The Out of the Darkness Walk has been a very powerful and positive event. It helps our community see the importance of awareness, support and kindness in helping to save lives. Since actor Robin Williams’ death, we have become even more tuned in to the fact that suicide can claim anyone.

“Now with the MARCS (Marc’s Awareness and Research to Combat Suicide) 5K Run, we can build momentum for the fight against suicide, which is the second leading cause of death among college students,” Miller said.

MARCS 5K RUN will be held Sunday, Oct. 26, starting at 10 a.m., on the quadrangle of the Kingston Campus, and it will follow the nationally sanctioned campus 5K course. There will be ceremonies for the walk and run at 10 a.m. Click here to register for the run. Proceeds from the run will be split between the foundation honoring Marc and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Registration for the run begins at 9 a.m.

The Out of the Darkness Walk will be held the same day starting at 11 a.m., and will also start on the quadrangle. Registration for the walk will begin at 10 a.m. The walk benefits The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy.

Click here to register for the walk and more information.

Bob Abrams will join his family members, all URI alumni, for the run: Ken, ’78, Joy Abrams (Kudish) ’80 and Kathleen Pointek-Abrams, ’73.

“To help raise awareness in the local community, we have teamed up with URI to organize a 5K walk/run in conjunction with the Out of the Darkness Walk,” said Bob Abrams. “We are expecting several hundred participants from the student body and local community.

“My wife and I recently lost our 26-year-old son Marc, who was living in Lincoln and working in biotechnology, to suicide. We are passionate about raising awareness, defeating the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide. Our goals include spreading the word to save lives and preventing others from going through the nightmare that we now face.”

According to a recent congressional subcommittee hearing on suicide, in 2013, 9.3 million Americans had thoughts of suicide, 2.7 made serious plans to take their own lives, 1.3 million attempted suicide and 40,000 committed suicide.