FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A new golf outing set out to honor a life lost while also working to prevent losing another.
The first Kevin Wilson Memorial Golf Outing happened at the Eel River Golf Course, aiming to raise awareness for resources that help those struggling with mental health issues.
“It was basically to put out the word that suicide is is something that needs to be talked about more often,” said organizer Robert Freon, a friend of Wilson’s. “To let people know who are in crisis, that there is a place that they can go, there’s a place that they can call, they can even text to get, you know, some support some help to let people know, you know, that they need help. And we’re here to help.”
Freon organized the event to honor Wilson, who died by suicide last year. All of the proceeds from the event will go to benefit Stop Suicide Now of Northeast Indiana.
“We’ve never actually had a big fundraiser for our organization,” said Colleen Carpenter. “We’re staffed by volunteers who come from all different walks of life to come together and figure out what our community needs to help stop suicide.”
The group compiles and distributes educational tool kits and offers training to help people battling mental struggles… an issue they say has been on the rise since COVID hit.
“COVID has been tough on a lot of people anxiety and depression are through the roof especially with our young people,” Carpenter said. “So if there is someone thinking about suicide, please reach out there is a hotline. There’s several text blinds that can help people and I know that Kevin’s family would want that to be said to is that if you’re having mental health challenges or suicide thoughts, reach out for help.”
To see the turnout they had for the first year brings some level of comfort to the people who knew and loved Wilson.
“It makes me so happy that everybody’s just out here supporting it and supporting him and people who go through what he went through,” said Brooklyn Robin, a family friend of Wilson’s.
“There’s a lot of people who care,” said Freon. “And it means something. If we just save one person, if we save one life, that’s our goal today.”