Hope Happens, a support group for those who have experienced the death of a loved one by suicide, will be dedicating a Texas Mountain Laurel at 11 a.m. Friday, June 16, at Harker Heights Community Park, 1501 E. FM 2410.
The tree was planted, so this will be a ribbon cutting.
The Harker Heights park was selected because that’s the location of the Out of the Darkness annual suicide prevention walk, said Janet Sutton, cofounder of Hope Happens.
The tree is young and currently looks more like a bush, Sutton said. The tree is being dedicated to all who have been affected by suicide.
Sutton’s 14-year-old son committed suicide in 2014.
Clarena Tobon, a co-founder of Hope Happens, lost her mother to suicide.
“We were completely lost when our son died,” Sutton said.
Because many friends of the family were tied to their son’s activities, there was a loss of friends, as well, she said.
The Hope Happens support group meets at 9 a.m. the first Saturday of the month at Cedar Crest Hospital, 3500 Interstate 35, Belton. This group is open to the public.
Hope Happens is free and open to anyone who needs assistance following a suicide, Sutton said.
“Right now, I’m working with someone down in the valley who was referred to us,” she said. “We provide support to anyone, they don’t have to be local.”
A referral from Hope Happens was requested from someone who lives in Asheville, N.C.
“We were able to find support groups near them,” Sutton said. “It’s basically finding resources for people wherever they live, when possible.”
Those who need additional support can attend the Compassionate Friends support group 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home Family Center at 500 W. Barton, Temple.
Compassionate Friends is a self-help bereavement support organization for families who have experienced the death of a child.
A pancake fundraiser will be held to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 8-10 a.m. Saturday, June 17, at Applebee’s 1808 HK Dodgen Loop, Temple.