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11th Annual Dustin Damm Walk Opens Conversations About Mental Health

Brandon Weathers
Updated: May 16, 2019 10:37 PM

Community members gathered at Olcott Park in Virginia Thursday for the 11th Annual Dustin Damm Walk fundraising event.

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Dustin lost his life in a tragic swimming accident due to his mental illness. His parents Jeff and Darci Damm partner with the Range Mental Health Center for the annual event.

Jeff and Darci shared an endearing story about Dustin, and several members of the community spoke about the importance of removing the stigma around mental health. This message is translated on event shirts that read, "we are stronger together."

The event consisted of live music, burgers, a bake sale, a raffle, and the lap walked around Olcott Park. People walked in honor of Dustin and other loved ones, and some walked in celebration of their own triumphs over mental illness.

Jen Rich is the peer support specialist for the Range Mental Health Center. “I’ve worked really hard to deal with my own mental health stuff, and worked to become a better person and grow from it and support others and help others these days," Rich said. "I’ve seen a lot of difficult things in my own family, so I like to be a part of supporting anything that’s mental health based because it’s really important and near and dear to me.”

All of the money raised at the event goes to the Dustin Damm Emergency Fund. Range Mental Health patients can apply to use the fund if they need help paying for education, medical bills, and even rent.

Credits

Brandon Weathers

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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