ROCKFORD (WREX) — The Suicide Prevention Lifeline reports the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24 is suicide. But one local foundation is working to lower these numbers.
The Tommy Corral Memorial Foundation held its Fifth Annual Ride to Fight Suicide fundraiser Saturday morning. Both the event and fundraiser are in honor of Tommy Corral, a 19 year-old who lost his life to suicide back in 2014.
Tommy’s family established the foundation in December of 2014, just four months after Tommy’s death. Ever since, their goal has been to raise awareness and understanding about mental illness and suicide, while also providing resources for those struggling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts.
Organizers say the Ride to Fight Suicide proceeds continue the efforts of the foundation to prevent suicide across the Stateline.
“Many people are fighting a mental battle every day in order to survive,” says Xavier Whitford, Mother of Tommy and Founder of the Tommy Corral Memorial Foundation. “And we need people to understand that there is people that are here to support them, there are people that are struggling and they need support and services and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Saturday’s event revved up with an opening discussion, coffee and donuts at Riverside Community Church in Loves Park. The group then rode in solidarity on a country-side route to Kegel Harley-Davidson in Rockford for food trucks, music, raffles, and fun.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
To learn more about the Tommy Corral Memorial Foundation, click here.