TEXARKANA, Ark. -- The local branch of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is revved up after a recent weekend of successful fundraising.
The organization's car and motorcycle show and poker run Sept. 17 netted more than double the donations over 2021.
"Last year, we only raised $600," event coordinator Deneshia May said. "This year, we raised $1,500. 108 Lounge raised $700 for us just by setting up donation jars."
Industrial steel company Star International donated $250 in prizes, and individual donors gave items such as wreaths and T-shirts, May said.
"We had a 50-50 drawing where someone got half the pot, which was $220," May said. "Harley-Davidson donated over $600 worth of prizes like duffel bags, beer buckets with glasses and a bunch of other stuff."
Advocating for suicide prevention is close to May's heart.
"We've had several suicides in my family and friends, extended family also," May said. "My daughter's dad committed suicide the day before her 14th birthday."
May said the local branch hopes to use the funds on suicide prevention programs for middle and high schoolers.
"We lose so many people to suicide at that age," May said. "We're trying to get more education and funding that go into the schools and provide more education on it."
The ASFP will hold a remembrance walk at 1 p.m. Nov. 6 at Bobby Ferguson Park. For information, visit https://tinyurl.com/mwut55zs.