EIGHTY volunteers are being sought for Donegal’s first ever ‘Darkness into Light’ event which is expected to attracts thousands of participants to the streets of Letterkenny in the early hours of Saturday, May 10.
The event is in aid of Pieta House, a centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide, which also hopes to open a branch in Donegal.
Darkness into Light is a unique, early morning experience which begins in darkness at the Letterkenny Community Centre at 4.15 am as thousands of people walk or run a 5 km route while dawn is breaking.
The early dawn represents hope and is symbolic of the work of Pieta House, bringing people from darkness back into the light.
Also taking place at 40 locations around the country, this is the first event of this type in Donegal.
A spokesman for the organising committee, Mr Niall Mulrine from Ballybofey, said the long-term plan is to open a Pietta House centre in the county.
“Hopefully, soon, we will have a much needed Pietta House resource in Donegal to help those people who are in suicidal distress and those who engage in self-harm, with a free and therapeutic approach,” he explained to the Donegal News.
“The run and walk will start at Letterkenny Community Centre and it is going to be a poignant but fun event for all the family.
“For this event, we need 80 marshals as we are expecting a huge crowd.
“It would help if you could send this message out to your readers to find people who would like to be part of this wonderful event.”
Anyone interested in helping out, please call Niall on 086-2377033 or email email@example.com
Speaking at the national launch in The Little Museum of Dublin, Ms Joan Freeman, CEO and founder of Pieta House said Darkness into Light is an incredible experience and one that people remember for a long, long time.
“There’s already huge anticipation and with so many new locations involved for 2014, it’s going from strength to strength. We’re tying this year’s event in with our Mind Our Men campaign that aims to reduce male suicide in Ireland, so I want to ask everyone to bring a male friend or family member with them. We’re making a big push this year to get all the men out – it means an early rise but they won’t regret it.”
Last year, Darkness into Light attracted 40,000 participants in 20 locations around Ireland. With this year’s event taking place in 39 locations, Pieta House is hoping for a near doubling of last year’s turnout.
Darkness into Light is the most vital component of Pieta House’s fund-raising calendar. As demand for the service continues to grow, and with more than 80 per cent of Pieta House’s income depending on public donations, funds raised during the events are essential for Pieta House to continue to provide a free service for the increasing numbers seeking help.
Registration for Darkness into Light, sponsored by Electric Ireland, is available online now at dil.pieta.ie