The second annual Jamie Sanders Walk for Mental Health Awareness will take place in Ithaca on Saturday.
The walk will take place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the Ithaca High School trail, but a number of other activities will take place throughout the day beginning at noon.
These will include a craft show, food trucks, magic show, children’s games and face painting, among others.
There will also be on-site therapists and mental health agency information booths.
A 50/50 raffle and a silent auction will also be organized to raise funds.
Entrants can design light bags that will be placed around the track to honor the memory of someone who has passed away due to mental health issues or someone who is currently battling illness.
Organizers are hoping to top the total number of attendees and money raised last year, according to Aaron Detloff, one of the event’s founders.
“Last year we had 75 people, so we hope to improve that number,” he said. “The weather is supposed to be beautiful, so we hope everyone will come out and support a good cause.”
The goal this year is to raise $3,000, with proceeds distributed among several local mental health organizations, Detloff noted.
The 2021 event raised just over $1,500.
Individuals, organizations or businesses can sponsor walkers or a ride for $50. Participants can also pledge a certain amount of money for each spin completed. A donation stand will be set up on site and vendors will be selling items with all proceeds going to the event.
The march was created last year to bring attention to mental health issues and suicide prevention.
It’s an issue close to Detloff’s heart, as he lost a good friend to suicide just a few years ago.
“We thought it was something everyone could go along with,” he said. “These are big problems in our county and our state.”
The event coincides with National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.
“Let’s break through the stigma that is mental health and help those around us,” Detloff said.
For more information on the walk, call Detloff at 517-243-0973.