17-Mile Overnight Walk in Seattle Raises Funds for Suicide Prevention

Thousands Walk for the Out of the DarknessSM Walk with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention



WHAT: The Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk (Overnight) is a 17-mile fundraising walk designed to raise awareness for the critical need to reduce the annual rate of suicide by 20 percent by year 2025 – saving 7,600 lives each year. Hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the Overnight raises funds to provide further scientific research, education programs and advocacy initiatives about mental illnesses and suicide. 


WHO: The Overnight supports over a thousand Seattle-area walkers and volunteers who may have been impacted by suicide and mental disorders.


WHERE:  Seattle Center – Fisher Pavilion (Opening and Closing Ceremony) located at 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA  98109

  • Walk Overview: Through Olympic Sculpture Park, Fremont, Downtown Seattle and Belltown
  • Route Details: Learn more about the Seattle event including additional route details


WHEN: Saturday, June 14 – Sunday, June 15

  • Opening Ceremony: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 14
  • Walk Begins: 7:20 p.m. Saturday, June 14
  • Closing Ceremony: By 5 a.m. Sunday, June 15


WHY: More than 81 cents of every dollar AFSP receives is used to fund scientific research, education and prevention programs, and awareness and advocacy initiatives. Seattle previously hosted the Overnight in 2008, from which proceeds helped to establish AFSP’s Washington State chapter.



Interview Opportunities and Participants of Interest:

  • Bob Gebbia, CEO of AFSP
  • Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer of AFSP
  • Emma Bagnell, Pacific Northwest Area Director
  • Raven Takimoto – Lost son, Ben, in 2005. Ben died jumping from the Aurora Bridge, Raven is so glad there are barriers on this bridge now.
  • Jesse Pasquan – A Tacoma-resident who suffered from depression and self-harm for years, mostly surrounding fear of coming out as gay
  • Crys Klier-Hoffman – From Minnesota, lost her son in 2009. Walking with her daughter Brittany who is part of the honor bead ceremony.
  • Honor Bead Participants
  • Denae Erickson, who lost her husband to suicide in 2013
  • Sarah Feinberg, who lost her friend to suicide in 2011
  • Dan Fisher, who lost his father to suicide in 1988
  • Brittany Hoffman, who lost her brother in 2009
  • Mary Ann and Raymond Burke, who have walked in all 14 Overnights and raised over $300,000 in memory of their son, an active duty Seaman in the Navy at the time of his death.
  • Erwin Santiago, who will represent all those who live with mental illness
  • Lynn Shepard-Nelson, who lost her son to suicide in 2000
  • Todd Vlastnik, who lost his son to suicide in 2008 and is a member of the Washington State Chapter

Photo and Video Opportunities:

  • Inspirational opening ceremony, which features an annual ‘bead ceremony’ which honors those lost by suicide, and those family and friends who were impacted by the loss of a loved one, and will feature presentations by Monica Magtoto, an artist and bereavement blogger from San Francisco, who is waking in memory of a close friend.
  • Closing ceremonies with presentations by Bob Gebbia and Taryn Aiken, an AFSP volunteer from Utah, who will speak about her own struggles, as well as the loss of her father to suicide.   
  • Local Seattle points of interest on the walk route.

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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide. To fully achieve its mission, AFSP engages in the following Five Core Strategies: Funds scientific research; Offers educational programs for professionals; Educates the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention; Promotes policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention; Provides programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involves them in the work of the Foundation. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has 65 local chapters with events nationwide. Review the Annual Report to learn more about AFSP’s life-saving work. Join the national conversation on suicide and follow AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.