Motorcycle clubs from across the Four Corners will ride this weekend to raise awareness about suicide and funds for suicide prevention.
“People think that they shouldn’t talk about (suicide), but it’s something that needs to be talked about,” event organizer Michael “Stretch” Greer said.
La Plata County has a high rate of suicide compared with national rates. The issue has attracted more public attention in recent years after several young teenagers died by suicide.
The Suicide Awareness Unity Run and Rally has attracted about seven motorcycle and hot rod clubs, said Greer, president of the local chapter of The Survivors Motorcycle Club. Interest in the event has exceeded organizers’ expectations, he said.
“It’s really exciting, having this many people involved,” he said.
The CODY Project, also known as Community Overcoming Depressed Youth Project, was set up in honor of La Plata County teens Cody Ledford, 14, and Thomas “T.C.” Rockwell, 13, both of whom died by suicide. The program strives to prevent suicide and promote mental wellness.
Love for Thad was set up in memory of Thad Hale, a 13-year-old who lived north of Aztec and died by suicide in 2014.
Cody’s and Thad’s parents will speak at the event, Greer said.
Those interested in participating can join the ride at any of its stops.
The ride will start at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Elks Lodge in Farmington, with stops at Wooden Nickel in Bloomfield, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 614 in Aztec and will end at Durango Harley-Davidson, 750 South Camino del Rio.
The rally will start at 3:30 p.m. at Durango Harley-Davidson. In addition to speakers, the event will feature live music, a bike wash, food and vendors.
Members of the public are welcome to participate and are not required to drive a motorcycle or a hot rod, Greer said. The entry fee is $25.