Remembering a friend

Boy Scout plans Walk for Suicide Awareness as Eagle Scout project

PHOTO PROVIDED Eagle Scout Ashton Peters has helped organize a memorial walk event in honor of his friend Cimarron, who passed away last year.

LOCK HAVEN — In memory of Cimarron Elise Thomas, who passed away last year at the age of 12, there will be a Walk For Suicide Awareness event at Riverview Park, 193 Farrandsville Rd., Lock Haven, on July 6.

The walk is an Eagle Scout Project organized by longtime friend Ashton Peters from Woolrich Scout Troop 66. It will start at 9 a.m. and will be held rain or shine.

An Eagle Scout Project is the opportunity for a Boy Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Scout’s leadership training, and it requires a significant effort on his part. Completing an Eagle Scout Project is a requirement in order for Boy Scouts to attain the Eagle Scout rank.

“The goal is to honor Cimarron and spread awareness of suicide, suicide prevention and to make anyone considering suicide aware of the services available to them. “If we save just one person, if we prevent one suicide and save one life, that’s the goal,” Peters said. It is an informative walk to spread the word. “Cimarron passed away a year ago, and we were classmates and neighbors since the second grade,” Peters said. “She was my first and only neighbor for about seven years or so.”

Peters explained that the date of July 6 was chosen because it would have been Cimarron’s 14th birthday.

Along with the walk, there will be a disk jockey playing music, as well as information booths, counselors, and psychiatrists for anyone seeking help or simply more information. There is no registration fee to join the Walk and there will be a limited number of t-shirts available to those attending.

Peters has been working closely with The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which is the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.

Everyone can do their part to prevent suicide, and if anyone is dealing with self-harmful thoughts or tendencies, or know family or friends that are, urge them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

According to the website, the Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. They are committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

The Lifeline provides 24/7; free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

There are also several counseling services in the local area, including Keystone Counseling and Evaluation Services, S. Highland St., Lock Haven; Crossroads Counseling Inc., N. Grove St., Lock Haven; and Community Services Group, 7930 Nittany Valley Dr., Mill Hall.

For more information or questions on the event, contact Ashton Peters at ashtoncpeters@gmail.com.