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  • Starts

    Jan 05, 2017
  • Ends

    Feb 19, 2017
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About Masquerade Gala - Remove the Masks

Join us as we come together to Remove the Masks for suicide prevention & mental health awareness.

*Behind Every Mask is a Face...
and Behind That, a Story. *

The West Virginia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is proud to host their first Masquerade Gala fundraiser in the state's capitol city of Charleston - February 18, 2017.
Prepare to be inspired and motivated by the events keynote guest speakers National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Advocates Taryn Aiken and Brandon Marsico as part of the evenings events. Our AFSP WV Chapter is also proud to have one of our own as the nation's Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year, Michelle Toman as our Chair & Co-Founder. Aiken, Marsico and Toman have each made a significant impact in their respective states and across the nation in regards to the movement surrounding suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Their work together has led them to numerous places across the country sharing their personal experiences for the greater cause, edcuating others and also to advocating successfully for mental health policy changes on Capitol Hill and in West Virginia.

The evening will consist of hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, dinner and dancing, in addition to the keynote speakers. (Dress is Black Tie/ Formal. Masks are optional and will be available for purchase outside of the event.)

Please join us for an outstanding evening of HOPE, inspiration and togetherness as we raise awareness and "Remove the Masks" surrounding mental health issues, while working toward funding the AFSP mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. The bold goal of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is to reduce the rate of deaths by suicide 20% by 2025 --- with your help and support we CAN make that happen.

This is a charity fundraising event: All Proceeds Benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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About American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide

To fully achieve its mission, AFSP engages in the following Five Core Strategies:

  • Fund scientific research
  • Offer educational programs for professionals
  • Educate the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention
  • Promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention
  • Provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation


In 1987, a small group of caring individuals had a vision: establish a private source of support for suicide research and education, and essential suicide prevention efforts could be sustained into the future. These founding families---each of whom had lost a someone to suicide---joined with scientists to create what today is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, or AFSP.

Many of our original founders were concerned about an alarming rise in youth suicide over the previous four decades. During this period, the suicide of young men had tripled while for young women it had doubled. Suicide is currently the third leading cause of death among young people age 15 to 24. The highest overall rates of suicide are for adults age 40 to 59.

Before AFSP, there was no national-scope not-for-profit organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy.

Since its founding in 1987, AFSP has:

  • Mobilized and connected tens of thousands of people who have lost a family member, loved one, or friend to suicide
  • Reached thousands of individuals who are at risk for suicide, as well as those who love and care for them
  • Attracted the participation of members of the scientific and clinical communities, who conduct groundbreaking research on suicide and its prevention with support from AFSP
  • Established local chapters in all 50 states
  • Educated hundreds of local communities about suicide and how to prevent it
  • Created a public policy and lobbying arm by merging successfully with an existing national policy organization, thus enabling AFSP to press for legislation and policies at the federal, state and local levels that advance the goal of preventing suicide
  • Substantially increased our funding from individual donors, including the thousands of highly motivated individuals who participate in our Out of the Darkness Walks
  • Educated reporters and the media about how to best cover suicide
  • Communicated with hundreds of thousands of individuals through our website, social media, brochures, speakers and efforts to generate press coverage


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