S H O R T S H O R T S • •
WALK TO PREVENT SUICIDE EACH YEAR 44,193 Americans die by suicide, an average of 121 per day. Over twice as many people take their lives annually than
are killed by homicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports.
In 2014, the suicide death rate in New Hanover County was 18.5 per 100,000 persons, the 2015 Community Health Assessment
reports, more than deaths from female breast cancer and colon cancer combined.
The Out of Darkness Community Walk, scheduled for Nov. 5 at
the John Nesbitt Loop in Wrightsville Beach, seeks to reduce those
numbers by raising awareness and funds to prevent suicide.
“We’re trying to bring about awareness, erasing the stigma with
mental health and suicide,” says Rainey Scrocco, chairwoman of
The walk “is a journey of remembrance and a walk that unites
a community — a time to acknowledge the ways in which suicide
and mental illness have affected our lives and our loved ones,” the
event website says.
Wilmington’s Touched by Suicide, a peer-led support group,
and AFSP started the walk six years ago to raise money for
research, support and outreach programs, and to honor loved
ones lost to suicide. Funds will go to the AFSP.
In addition to the walk, there will be a resource fair, fam-ily
activities including face painting, and corn hole and other
“It’s kind of like tailgating,” Scrocco says. “It’s not a solemn
thing, it’s a fun family thing.”
Friendly dogs are welcome at the event. The 2.5-mile walk
will begin at the Wrightsville Beach Park at 2:15 p.m. Check-in
is at 12:30 p.m. — Charlotte Smith
Paula Sturdy and Van Marr accept the
award for Best in Show at the North
Carolina Holiday Flotilla luncheon
November 29, 2009.
WRIGHTSVILLE’S FLOTILLA ADDS A SPECIAL NEW THEME THE NORTH CAROLINA HOLIDAY FLOTILLA is adding a new category to its lighted boat
parade in honor of late supporter Paula Sturdy: The Best Wrightsville Beach Theme.
Sturdy, repeat Flotilla winner and longtime supporter, died last year. Flotilla board mem-ber
Katie McCormic says the Paula Sturdy Award was created at the request of friends and
family, with a prize of $1,000 to the winner of the Best Wrightsville Beach Theme.
A maximum of 30 boats will compete in eight prize categories, including Best in Show and the
People’s Choice Award, McCormic says.
The in-water holiday parade of boats all bedecked with lights for the holiday season is scheduled to
begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, followed by fireworks. The parade route begins near the draw-bridge
and winds through Motts Channel to Banks Channel, north to the fixed bridge, then parallels
Waynick Boulevard to the Coast Guard station. Judges are on the Blockade Runner dock.
Arrive early. Traffic is restricted and parking is tight all along the parade route. The Festival in the Park
is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Wrightsville Beach Park.
Other events that occur throughout the weekend are the lighting of the Wrightsville Beach Christmas
tree at Town Hall, scheduled for 5:45 p.m. on Friday, November 24, and the launch party with music by
The Embers featuring Craig Woolard at 7 p.m. Friday at the Blockade Runner. — Charlotte Smith
WBM FILE PHOTO
WBM FILE PHOTO PHOTO COURTESY OF RAINEY SCROCCO