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UW Lifesavers Coalition Receives Donation

January 25, 2017

The University of Wyoming Lifesavers Coalition recently received a $2,000 gift to help with suicide prevention efforts.

The UW Lifesavers Coalition is a campus and community partnership whose mission is to prevent suicide using a comprehensive, strategic, public health approach. 

Rhianna Brand, Grace For 2 Brothers Foundation director of operations, on behalf of William Warfel, presented a check to the coalition Dec. 13.

Warfel climbed Mount Rainer in Washington during the summer of 2014 to raise money for suicide prevention in the memory of his friend Andrew Wood, a UW student who died by suicide in October 2013. Warfel partnered with Grace For 2 Brothers Foundation, a Cheyenne-based organization that promotes suicide prevention through awareness and education.

Warfel wrote a statement about the journey of healing from his loss. Part of his statement, which was read in full at the check presentation ceremony, was: “The decision to climb Mount Rainier occurred within six weeks of Andrew’s passing. It provided something to strive for and purpose beyond daily life. I knew the challenge would be hard, but it was a way for me to focus on one thing. In essence, it was all for me.”

The foundation collected donations from Warfel’s fundraising climb. Half of the funds were designated for suicide prevention work at UW.

“The UW Lifesavers Coalition is grateful to William Warfel for his generous donation,” says Toi Geil, UW Lifesavers Coalition chair and University Counseling Center associate director. “The coalition will use the donation to support suicide prevention efforts at the University of Wyoming, which will include the design and printing of crisis intervention posters that list campus and community mental health resources.”

With the other half of the money, Grace For 2 Brothers Foundation launched the Hour of Grace Grief Support Group, which meets every third Thursday of the month in the Summit Room of Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie from 6-7:30 p.m.

If you or someone you love or know is having thoughts of suicide, there are many resources available for help. Free-of-charge, crisis phone services include: the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255); in Wyoming, text WYO to 741741; Peak Wellness Center in Laramie, (307) 745-8915; and Laramie Suicide Prevention Hotline (voice and text), (307) 977-7777.

For more information about Grace For 2 Brothers Foundation, call (307) 256-3344.

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