12 Sioux Falls leaders to run 437 miles for suicide prevention

Kristen De Berg, Lesley Fite-Boltjes, Ryan Flogstad, Wendy Johnson, Greg Koch, Benson Langat, ...
Kristen De Berg, Lesley Fite-Boltjes, Ryan Flogstad, Wendy Johnson, Greg Koch, Benson Langat, Dr. Whitney Lucas Molitor, Kelly Marshall, Alex Pool, Matt Smith, Allison Weber, And Paul TenHaken(Dakota News Now)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:48 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - With a mission to bolster both physical and mental wellness, an inaugural event, The 437 Project, consists of a team of 12 runners who will run 437 miles relay-style across the state of South Dakota, raising funds and awareness for suicide prevention.

Each year, over 48,000 people in the United States die by suicide leaving behind thousands of loved ones to endure this life-changing loss.

Janet Kittams, Chief Executive Officer of the Helpline Center, is championing this partnership, according to the 437 press release. “Connecting people to mental health support and hope is at the core of the Helpline Center’s mission. We are proud to be a part of The 437 Project to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention across South Dakota.”

As the presenting sponsor for The 437 Project, Avera continues to spread information on warning signs to look for and raise awareness of how to prevent suicide in South Dakota.

Avera provides inpatient and outpatient services and other mental health resources to those who need it most.

“We thank The 437 Project for this important awareness effort. Avera is asking the public to learn the warning signs of suicide and to help us to save lives through caring and compassionate conversations with loved ones,” said Matthew Stanley, DO, Avera Clinical Vice President for Behavioral Health. “We have a tremendous new prevention resource in 988. People can call or text anytime to be connected to experts in suicide prevention.”

On Sept. 22, 2022, the team of 12 community leaders will begin the 437-mile run from Belle Fourche to Sioux Falls. The race will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022.

If you would like to become a sponsor, visit The437Project.Org/Become-A-Sponsor/.

The team of 12 community leaders include

● Kristen De Berg | Cardiovascular Genetic Counselor, Sanford Health

● Lesley Fite-Boltjes | RN, Sanford Hospital

● Ryan Flogstad | Sergeant, Sioux Falls Police Department

● Wendy Johnson | Director of Client Services, Electric Pulp

● Greg Koch | Owner and Founder, 605 Running Co.

● Benson Langat | Therapist, Family Service, Inc.

● Dr. Whitney Lucas Molitor | Assistant Professor, University of South Dakota

● Kelly Marshall | Account Risk Manager, Risk Administration Services

● Alex Pool | Integration Manager, The Helpline Center

● Matt Smith | Market President, Dacotah Bank in Sioux Falls

● Paul TenHaken | Mayor of Sioux Falls

● Allison Weber | Relationship Manager, Fiserv

For more information about The 437 Project, visit the437project.org.