Whitney's Walk breaks records

By Alyssa Donovan

July 29, 2013 Updated Jul 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM CDT

BRIMFIELD, Ill.-- What started as a simple event in Brimfield nearly a decade ago, has grown into a movement throughout the central Illinois.

On Saturday, more than 1,300 people came out to Jubilee College State Park for Whitney's Walk for Life.

The fundraiser was started by Whitney Grotts' family back in 2004 after she took her own life.

This year's walk raised more than $130,000. The money supports depression awareness and suicide prevention programs through Mental Health America of Illinois Valley.

"We go into schools, clubs, employee groups and provide education programs that will help people to identify warning signs of depression and suicide and to help get the assistance people need before they resort to suicide," said Walk Coordinator Jamie Sanders.

Chuck Roper of Bloomington lost his daughter to suicide in 2010.

“Everybody that comes out here we all have something in common," he said. "It's a very special walk. People get together for different reasons and this is a walk where everybody has a very special relationship."

To learn more about suicide prevention and depression awareness, call Mental Health America of Illinois Valley at 1-800-273-TALK.

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