RISE Phoenix Visited Columbia

Zachary Chipps and Thomas Brown of Scottsdale, Arizona, were 5,000 miles into their shared 7,100-mile cross-country ride across and around the county to raise awareness of suicide and promote prevention.

Zachary Chipps and Thomas Brown

Zachary Chipps and Thomas Brown address crowd at pre-Walk event in Columbia's Riverfront Park

Zach and Thomas stopped in Aiken and Columbia, SC on August 12.  The AFSP Chapter welcomed them with an event in Riverfront Park.  Zachary visited the chapter office to meet with board members Tara Milton and Melissa Craft and Area Director Helen Pridgen.  Country singer-songwriter Erin Thomas also performed at the event.

In the spring of 2012, two friends, Zachary Chipps and Thomas Brown, set out on a cross-country bicycle tour that would last for 7 months and cross 21 states. Their purpose was to raise awareness about suicide and the healing power of art. The tour was inspired by the loss of their brothers to suicide, a bond they discovered soon after meeting. The primary intention for the RISE (Revolution Inspired by Self Evolution) tour was to participate with the expansion of a national dialog about suicide. Bringing their own unique brand to the discussion, Zak and Thomas’s message emphasized the potential for the healing power of art and creativity.

Erin Thomas

Singer songwriter Erin Thomas performed at RISE event.

The message of R.I.S.E. is to remind you of your infinite potential and the myriad possibilities for you as you journey through life. Within each one of us is an artist that allows an individual to creatively shape their personal world. One does not need to be a painter, writer, musician, photographer, etc. The greatest mode to express oneself is through the life you live; so if your life is a canvas, then the decisions you make act as your palette . . . paint a beautiful life.

The tour is over, but the need for a national and worldwide dialog is still very necessary. It is the desire of team RISE to continue to act as an additional means to carry on the conversation that encompasses the subjects of suicide and depression. With open dialog and collaboration we can maintain and expand our network, building a stronger community. RISE will continue to tour with the intention of sharing the collective story of Thomas and Zak, and what they learned on the road. More importantly, Team RISE hopes to learn from the communities they interact with and share collected information with the greater community.