Alexis Kalmus is only 17, but she’s gone through plenty of heartache in recent years.
First, a classmate by the name of Stephen Nichols took his own life at the tender age of 14. Just a year later, in 2011, her ailing grandfather did the same.
For Kalmus, while the pain was deep, she found opportunity to help others amidst the darkness.
In 2011, just three weeks after her grandfather passed, Kalmus constructed a team of 17 people that participated in the Out of the Darkness fundraiser to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Kalmus made a commitment to strengthen her team–now named Team Keep Holdin’ On–in 2012, and did just that, bringing in 30 participants while raising funds throughout the year.
Joining her last weekend during the walk at Waterloo Village in Hackettstown was Stephen Nichols’ mom, Paula Field-Nichols, along with Rod Cameron, father of Ryan Cameron, a Hackettstown High School student who took his life last spring.
While the walk event has ended, donations to the group and foundation can still be made online by going here.