Team of Mercy raises suicide awareness at 7th annual 5K fundraiser

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Team of Mercy hosted their 7th annual Surviving Color 5K Walk/Run Saturday at Deming Park.

The non-profit organization offers services to those who have lost a loved one due to suicide.

“My daughter Hannah always wanted to do a color run. And unfortunately she is not able to do that. So in her memory we decided to start the color run and here we are 7 years later,” said Christina Crist, Executive Director for Team of Mercy.

Crist lost her 15-year-old daughter from suicide. She said it’s been a blessing to help others, even while dealing with her own grief.

“To turn around and be able to turn that into the community and help other individuals and start to know about suicide… I knew about suicide but it never directly affected me. So to be able to turn my pain into service work for the community, it fills my heart every single day,” Crist said.

Those participating traveled through Deming Park as volunteers threw different color powders in the air. There were also signs lined up along the route to remember the lives of the families’ loved ones.

Brandae Stateler participates in the 5K every year to honor the life of her father, George Domeika Jr.

She said she wishes people would talk about the issue more.

“People need to talk about it because unfortunately it’s happening everyday. It’s somebody’s parent, their sibling, their spouse, their friend, their child. It’s happening everyday it needs to be talked about that way they can get the help they need,” she said.

Stateler encourages people to pay attention to their loved ones.

“Listen to people. Look for those signs. Be there for that person,” she said.

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