Nearly 2000 Walk to Fight Suicide in Boston

On June 27, over two thousand people gathered at Boston City Hall for the second 2015 Overnight Walk.

The night kicked off with WCVB’s J.C. Monahan introducing AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia, who during his speech announced that 2016’s Overnight Walks in San Francisco in May 21 and New York City on June 4.

Raela Villanueva told us about the loss of her brother, Junior, who taught himself to play guitar in college, and how she has healed through music.

Magic 106.7 and Chair of the Boston Chapter Board of AFSP, David O’Leary, told the stories of 10 people, who represented our nine honor bead colors, each color representing a different connection to the cause. A soldier walking for his fallen comrades and the families they left behind, an aspiring author who hopes to write a book for other young women of color who struggle with mental health conditions, and the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, were among those who joined hands on stage.

As the walk began, Carlos Arredondo, the Boston Marathon Hero who lost his son to suicide in 2011, held a “Boston Strong” banner. Walkers passed Boston landmarks like Copley Square, Boston Common, and Castle Island. At Fenway Park, Wally, the Red Sox’ mascot posed for photos with walkers and at J.P Licks walkers picked up ice cream samples.

And then there was the rain. It started around 9p.m. and never let up, but that didn’t stop our walkers. A couple even got engaged under the balloon arch finish line!


The night closed with CEO Robert Gebbia announcing that more than $3 Million had been raised for suicide prevention! Raela Villanueva came back to sing The Dream Song and the night finished with a story from John Read told about his struggles with suicidal ideation, and how he has found new family to help others.

Thank you to all of our walkers, crew, and donors for making this such an extraordinary event.

Experience the Overnight for yourself in 2016. Register for San Francisco or New York City today!


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