Suicide Memorial Walk and butterfly release raises funds for prevention

RIDGEWAY, Wis. — Members of Iowa County’s suicide prevention coalition gathered in Ridgeway on Sunday for a memorial walk and a butterfly release fundraiser.

Everyone who participated has been affect by suicide in some way and now they’re hoping to help educate others in suicide prevention.

“It’s hard some days but I’m very proud of doing it,” said participant Phill Henneman. “It brings something to the meaning of my son’s death.”

Event organizer and founder of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Iowa County Susan Springer said the group chose to release butterflies because they have a special meaning to a lot of their members.

“Sometimes they feel like they can take messages to heaven or if they’re somewhere and they see a butterfly, sometimes it is a messenger from heaven coming to tell them everything’s okay,” she said.

Springer also said this event is an opportunity for those who have lost someone to connect.

‘It’s just kind of a really nice supportive atmosphere,” she added.

According to Springer, since the coalition’s founding 6 years ago, it has grown to serve seven different counties.

“I really just meant to start in our area to educate the people really in Iowa county and the more I did the more need there was out there that was brought to my awareness,” Springer said.

The money raised Sunday will help provide suicide prevention education and awareness.

For those currently struggling these advocates said it’s important to talk to someone and get help.

“The pain you’re feeling now will end but if you take your life your pain will just go on to your loved ones that are left behind,” said Henneman. “There’s always the bright never give up on life.”