COLLEGE TOWNSHIP — As the day turned to dusk Tuesday, dozens of people gathered atMillbrook Marsh Nature Center for a candlelight vigil to remember those who passed away from suicide.
On Tuesday, an evening of hope and healing ceremony was held that commemorated National Suicide Prevention Week and Suicide Prevention Day around the country and in Centre County.
The Jana Marie Foundation in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosted the event.
On Sept. 3, the Centre County commissioners designated Sept. 10 as Centre County Suicide Prevention Day.
“This is something that impacts a lot of people,” said Al Vicere, a founder of the Jana Marie Foundation and father of Jana Marie Vicere. “Every 13 seconds, someone commits suicide. We just want to spread awareness about suicide prevention.”
Marisa Vicere said the foundation helps to keep her late sister’s memory alive.
She said her sister was only 30 when she committed suicide two years ago.
“It was a hard time for us, but we found something positive out it,” Vicere said about starting the foundation that aims to help people make positive choices through healthy relationships.
On Tuesday, attendees gathered to hear stories of strength and healing.
Rhonda Stern, an art therapist and licensed counselor, said the arts are one way to help a wounded soul.
“The arts are there for everyone,” Stern said. “They’re there as a way to express what’s contained inside a person through expressive communication.”
The arts were part of the event on Tuesday that showcased artwork and poems from families and individuals of those who are impacted by suicide, in addition to live musical acoustic entertainment from local musician Zack Maser.
Another ceremony will be held 6 p.m. Thursday at the Match Factory in Bellefonte that will show the film, “Toward Daylight,” with a panel discussion about myths that surround suicide and how to intervene.
For more information, visit www.janamariefoundation.org.
Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648.