Cabrini field hockey walks to raise awareness for suicide prevention 

By Megan Fee
October 14, 2019

The field hockey team in Philadelphia for the walk. Photo by Cabrini Athletics.

The Cabrini women’s field hockey team participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention in Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 6. The walk took place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and began at 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. The team had a goal of raising $3,000 and ended up beating that goal by raising $3,615.

Katya Simonsen, a freshman midfielder and graphic design major, and Annsley Dicton, a senior forward and exercise science & health promotion major, were the two players who initiated the team’s involvement in the Greater Philadelphia Walk.

“Kat [Simonsen] actually came to me during pre-season. I felt like this cause was close to her heart and what I did was I then said to one of our seniors, Annsley, to see if she would be interested in helping her,” head coach, Jackie Neary said. “Then all of a sudden I hear a month later that they’re up to like $3,000, [and] they are gonna do this walk.”

The team felt it was important to take part in the walk and raise awareness for an issue that hits close to home for many people. By taking part in this walk the team was able to help the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reach their fundraising goal and support their mission of reducing suicide rates.

“For a couple years now, I’ve definitely been an advocate for mental health and I saw this walk in Philly and my mom told me about it and then so the goal was to raise money and I was like, we could raise a lot more money if we got the whole field hockey team involved and I think that it’s something especially in college that is a big issue among our nation,” Simonsen said.

The team promoting the walk on social media. Photo from Cabrini field hockey Instagram page.

According to Dicton, although not everybody could participate in the walk, everyone on the team participated money-wise through donations and they still had a good turnout for the walk.

“The overall experience was good. It [donations] started off kind of slow. Not a lot of people came in at first but towards the end everyone really came through, [and] got us to our goal,” Dicton said.

“Our goal was at $3,000 eventually and for like a month, it was struggling and only a couple of people donated. We actually were scared that we weren’t going to reach $3,000 and then like two weeks before the walk it just started going crazy and we ended up raising $3,600 so that was really good,” Simonsen said.

News spread about the field hockey team’s fundraising through word of mouth and social media where they had a link to donate to support and advocate for this cause.  

The Out of the Darkness Walk provided emotional support for loved ones as well as financial support to grow awareness to this mental illness. According to Neary, she actually had two different alumni who lost family members to suicide contact her to let her know how pleased they were to see that the field hockey team took on the cause this fall. 

“Our experience at the walk was really inspiring,” Simonsen said. “There were thousands of people there, like the museum was packed [and] like we finished our walk and there were still people starting the walk.”

“The turnout was great,” Dicton said. “Just to see everyone, especially our team, like come together and just do this for a good cause was a good time.”

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Megan Fee

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