BOCA RATON, Fla. – Winners of the 2019 Social Impact Team Award for community service initiatives, the men’s lacrosse team continues to exemplify Lynn University’s values of “Spirit. Service. Strength.” On September 29th, Ben Jackson, a senior on the men’s lacrosse team, participated in the virtual ‘Out of Darkness Walk’, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
“It is great to have a team culture of caring for others,” said head men’s lacrosse coach Brian Kingsbury. “Through this campaign, we hope to raise funds and awareness for this worthwhile organization.”
The AFSP is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death. The AFSP’s walks are their largest fundraising arm, producing millions for suicide prevention programs while uniting those who have been affected by suicide and creating communities that better understand mental health.
“I have a personal connection to this cause and my teammates were supportive in choosing this initiative to help raise money,” Jackson said. “I lost one of my best friends from home to suicide last year. The men’s lacrosse team joined the ‘In-Loving Memory of Ethan LoCigno Team’ for this virtual event. Suicide is something that has affected various members of our team, and this was a great way to honor the memories of those we have lost and give back to this great organization.”
The event aimed to de-stigmatize discussions surrounding mental health. The virtual walk was held at the end of September to cap Suicide Prevention Month in the United States. The men’s lacrosse team raised over $2,000 for AFSP.
Jackson concluded his participation in the event by meeting with the AFSP South Florida branch on Zoom, giving a presentation titled “Talk Saves Lives – An Introduction to Suicide Prevention”. Talk Saves Lives is a community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide.
“Service is something that has always been a part of the men’s lacrosse team at Lynn, with community service being one of our team’s core values,” Jackson added. “We are lucky to be able to play lacrosse in college, and it’s important for us to give back to the community that supports us. Often our community service projects help provide important perspective to us on just how lucky we are to be furthering our education while also being college athletes.”