BLOOMFIELD, NJ - On Saturday, over 300 walkers participated in the Essex County Out of Darkness Walk at Brookdale Park. The fundraising walk benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation's largest non-profit dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. The Essex County Walk is one of more than 375 Out of the Darkness Community Walks being held nationwide this year and the 3rd annual event held in Essex County. The walks are expected to unite more than 250,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts.

New Jersey Area Director Elizabeth Roithmayr stated, " Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide is preventable. The Essex County Walk has raised more than $25,000 in support of AFSP's local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025."

"It's bittersweet to see how many people care about and have been effected by suicide and are strong enough to come together to fight the stigma of suicide and raise awareness," said Dina DeFabrizio, an organizer of the event.  "It was a beautiful day and I couldn't help but think the whole time how proud my Dad would be to see me helping others who have been deeply effected by suicide." Dina's father Vincent served as a member of the Bloomfield Police Department before his untimely death in 2014.