My Dad took his own life to suicide on September 13, 2008, at the young age of 46. He was a such a great man, with a loving, goofy personality. He made friends with everyone he met and loved listening to the stories of others. What I wasn't aware of at the time, is that under those smiles and big laugh, my Dad was also struggling with depression and bi polar disorder. On September 13th, my life changed forever. On September 13th, my Dad was overcome by his mental illness and made a choice that created huge ripple effects through everyone he had met. I will never forget the moments on that day and continue to feel them today - the shock, unanswered questions and extreme sadness. At the time, I didn't know what to do with the emotions I was feeling. I hadn't known anyone who had taken their life and didn't know who to talk to. Suicide had such negative connotations, but I knew in my heart what an amazing person my Dad was. My family and I were grieving and it seemed better to leave all the questions I had unanswered. My goal through this fundraiser and involvement with the Be The Light Walk is to help raise money to increase awareness of suicide and reduce the stigma around it. I want my children to grow up and be able to openly talk about suicide and mental illness. I want them to understand the signs and to ask any questions they have. As we approach the 8th anniversary of his passing, I couldn't think of a better way to remember my Dad. I appreciate your help in raising money for this cause that is so close to my heart.