AUBURN — A motorcycle ride to increase awareness of suicide and its after-effects is being organized for Sunday, Sept. 24. The first-time event, called a Ride for Suicide, will meet at 10 a.m. at the Auburn Mall lower parking lot near Center Street.
Riders will depart at 11 a.m. after opening remarks from event organizers, speaker and former Auburn and Lewiston Mayor John Jenkins. Cars and trucks are welcome to foollow the motorcycle pack.
The ride is expected to last for just over an hour as participants take the scenic route to downtown Portland, ending with a meet-up of the Out of the Darkness Walk for AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) participants at Thompson’s Point.
Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to join the event at 10 a.m. for free coffee and pastries and a venue for sharing stories and memories of lost loved ones. The event will run until about 1 p.m.
Event organizer Nick Danforth, who lost his father, David, to suicide in August 2015, started the ride to help others suffering from the after-effects of suicide.
Danforth said, “Much like life is a surprise and suicide unexpected, with this being the first year, we are not quite sure what to expect either. The outpouring of positive feedback from folks so far has been amazing, and even before a single rider rides, we’ve already begun achieving our purpose for this event.”
“We want to help and connect with other people affected by this tragedy, while creating a venue for people to remember their loved ones while increasing awareness about suicide.”
Donations will be collected, and raffle items, 50/50 and give-aways will be held. Funds raised will support someone locally who organizers have heard has recently lost someone to suicide.