Hundreds of people put on their running shoes to raise awareness about an increasing problem in the community – suicide.
This year's "Race to Save Lives," started at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.
The run was held around Veteran's Day to put the focus on the sky-rocketing number of military members who commit suicide each day.
Statistics show an average of 100 people a day kill themselves, 18 of those are active military personnel or veterans.
More than 250 people put on their running gear and signed up for the 5th annual race.
"Oh my gosh, this is exciting. We never had this many people yet," says Ann Schelle with The Suicide Prevention Center in St. Joseph County.
The run-walk is designed to help raise awareness about suicide and fund programs designed to prevent it.
"We educate first responders with intervention skills so that when they are face-to-face with someone at risk, or in an attempt of suicide they know what to do, what to say, to get that person to safety," explains Schelle.
Andrea Fassler lost her father, Al, to suicide just over a month ago. She walked in his memory and to encourage others to.
"Talk more, love, get closer to your family. It's a really hard time and I just hope that people can get as much help as they can. And there's a lot of help out there," says Fassler.
Chris Krueger, a South Bend police officer, founded the event.
"8 years ago I lost my sister to suicide and at that time I decided I wanted to focus my grief into something positive," says Krueger, who shakes his head when adding that his sister was only 29 years old.
This year's race put a special emphasis on the increasing number of military members committing suicide....more than a dozen a day.
"Mental illness is just like any other illness...flu or anything you'd go to the doctor or hospital for. You need to look at it like that. And seek the help that you need to keep yourself healthy," encourages Krueger.
Organizers hope the event not only raises awareness about suicide and the symptoms, but also encourages people to not be afraid or embarrassed if they need to get help.
Last year's race raised more than $5,000. The money is used to fund programs like the "Yellow Ribbon Suicide Program" which reaches 10,000 school age students teaching them signs to look out for and ways to help friends in need.