Samaritans’ Run for Someone Else’s Life: Tewksbury residents to participate in Annual 5K to support local suicide prevention and remember Mark Van Gorder

(Boston) – More than 2,500 runners, walkers, families and team members will support Samaritans’ mission to prevent suicide at the 16th annual “Run For Someone Else’s Life” 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Festival on Saturday, September 27th along the Charles River.


The importance of a caring, compassion community is emphasized at the event, in which the majority of the participants will be running or walking in memory of loved ones lost to suicide. Money raised from registration fees, pledges and corporate sponsorships will help Samaritans and its volunteers ease the despair, pain and loneliness suffered by so many individuals in our area. Samaritans believes that when people are heard and feel comforted, our entire community benefits.


One of the inspiring teams participating in this year’s event that has experienced the life-changing work of Samaritans is Mark’s Team, which has participated since 2006. While Susy Flynn led the team the previous seven years, this year her daughter Molly is taking on the role of team captain, leading friends and family members in continuing to honor her brother Mark. At the 5K Molly and her family celebrate Mark’s life and remember him as a role model, prankster, and best friend.


When asked what the 5K means to Molly and her family, she told us “The 5K is something we look forward to - it's a day for our family, extended and close, and friends, to celebrate Mark's life and honor his memory.


“The first time we attended, I was worried it would be a sad day, but I remember feeling so overwhelmed with inspiration as we watched my sister begin the race and then walked in Mark's memory. The day was totally different than I had been expecting, it was both uplifting and emotionally fulfilling. When you go through something like a loss to suicide, you really do feel all alone, and like your family is the only one going through this type of death and grief. Though it is tragic to see how many people have been affected by suicide, it is such a comfort to be surrounded by people going through the same thing.


When people ask why my family participates, I tell them we do it to keep Mark's memory alive, and to keep others alive and well.”


Samaritans is a locally based non-profit organization, and all of the proceeds generated from the 5K stay in Massachusetts and fund life-saving services, including our 24/7 phone and text helplines, Community Education and Outreach, and Grief Support Services for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Samaritans’ staff, volunteers and 5K participants are excited for the 16th Annual 5K, the only suicide prevention walk in the Commonwealth that provides financial support to the 24/7 crisis lines answered by Samaritans, including calls answered from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

This year’s event hopes to raise more than $400,000 for Samaritans’ mission to reduce the incidence of suicide in the Greater Boston and Metrowest community. Donations are currently being accepted. If you would like to register for the 5K or make a donation to Mark’s Team, please visit their fundraising webpage found at www.samaritans5K.org


More about Samaritans

The Samaritans is a premier suicide prevention organization serving the Greater Boston and Metrowest areas.  Over the past 40 years, Samaritans volunteers have answered more than 1.5 million phone calls to its 24/7 and Samariteens telephone helplines. The agency has also trained more than 4,000 volunteers and instructed more than 100,000 individuals through its community education and outreach programs. Thousands of individuals and families have been helped through the Samaritans’ grief support groups.

For more information on the Samaritans please visit www.samaritanshope.org or call 617-536-2460.

 Samaritans 24/7 helplines: 

Boston 617-247-0220

Samaritans Statewide Toll Free Helpline 877-870-HOPE (4673)

Teens: 800-252-TEEN (8336)

Crisis Text Line: Text “LISTEN” to 741-741


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