ANKENY, Iowa -- More than 1,000 people gathered in Ankeny on Sunday, all of them affected by the same issue: suicide.
Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of the death in the United States but it's still something many don't like talking about. The "Out of the Darkness" walk is meant to help change that.
"People don’t like to talk about suicide and here they can. Nobody shrugs their shoulders or turns away from them," says organizer Stephanie McAdam. "We just want to make people feel comfortable, remember their loved ones and get together as a family."
McAdam's son died by suicide 17 years ago. She had no idea anything was wrong and his death came as a shock. Ever since she has dedicated her life towards helping survivors of suicide loss.
"They are not alone and all of these people here have lost someone to suicide," she said. "You feel like you are the only person in the world that this has happened to and it's not."
The "Out of the Darkness" event was held at Ankeny's DMACC and raised $57,000.
The money will go towards the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's educational and research program in hopes of reducing the annual suicide rate by 20 percent by the year 2025.