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Teen to Honor Peers in Suicide Prevention Walk

West Morris Central junior hopes to raise awareness after suffering personal tragedy.

After enduring tragedy in her own family, Alexis “Lexi” Kalmus of Long Valley is raising awareness for suicide prevention, honoring family and peers, and asking the community to join her.

Kalmus, whose grandfather took his own life in 2011, , and is focusing on her own peer groups for this year’s event, her father, Mitch Kalmus said.

Now a 16-year-old junior at , Kalmus is walking in honor of at the school who took his life in 2010, and Ryan Cameron, a 17-year-old Hackettstown High School student who committed suicide earlier this year.

Entering the event just three weeks ahead of time in 2011, Kalmus created a team of 17 walkers.

This year, she’s hoping for much more, and asking the community to join in.

“She has taken our family’s experience, feeling and grief,” Mitch Kalmus said, “and wants to prevent other families from experiencing such a thing.”

The teen is hoping that her peers and their families will help her in raising awareness for this cause and join her team, named “Keep Holding On”. To find out more about donating or joining the team, go here.

Head start at home

Kalmus’s younger sister, Madison, recently performed in the B School’s annual talent show. The elder Kalmus was part of the production, lending a hand behind the scenes.

School principal Jolene Battitori, along with show organizers Denise Garino and Linda Hollander, allowed and aided Kalmus in setting up a donation drive at the show.

Kalmus called it “Long Valley Cares,” and raised more than $200 in donations during the show.

This year’s Out of the Darkness event will be held on Oct. 7 at Waterloo Village. Kalmus has set a goal of raising $1,500, and currently has $215 in donations.

Information and photo provided by Mitch Kalmus. 

Franklin Cook May 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM
A number of free resources designed to help people bereaved by suicide are available through the "Suicide Grief Support Quick Reference" (http://sg.sg/griefreference) a tool developed by Unified Community Solutions and a work group from the Consumer-Survivor Subcommittee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK/8255).
stacie bohr May 15, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Lexi….you are wonderful for working for such a great cause. I too lost someone to suicide just this past October. She was my 23 year old niece. Her name was Chelsea. I have been working with the AFSP since then as well and they are fantastic. Kudos to you in your efforts. You have the spirit and drive to help with what has become a tragic epidemic but more important…the goodness in your heart to take the initiative to do so. God Bless you and your efforts! And I am so sorry for your loss.
Sherri Loughney May 15, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Wow Lexi: Hi, my name is Sherri and as I read what you are doing, I cried. My sister committed suicide 3 years ago and her youngest daughter is us and we are in the process of adopting her. I now have two daughters instead of one and for that I am very grateful. Our lives have never been the same since we lost my sister. I never heard of this group before and I thank you for sharing this with everyone. I would love to be part of your team and I would love to learn more. Could you please e-mail me so that I can learn more? sloughney63@aol.com. Thank you!
Rita Carraher May 15, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Wonderful!!! I hope to be part of the walk in October. Stephen was a good friend of my daughters and his mother is one of the finest people on the face of the earth. I am proud to be called her friend.
Claire May 15, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Lexi, Thank you for for being brave and bringing awareness that suicide is not only a young persons cause but many elderly suffer from depression and take that path. Its just not talked about enough. I know that must have been hard for you with your Grandpa. More services need to be offered to older citizens who tragically are faced with their immortality. I know from my parents alone, it is a very difficult thing to deal with on their part when given the death notice. Lexi, I am sure your grandpa is proud of you.
Indoor Outdoor May 16, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Fantastic endeavor! No doubt you will reach your goal and go beyond!

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