Walk in Virginia will raise money for mental health needsOrganizers of the Dustin Damm Walk for Mental Health hope to raise $25,000 during the fifth-annual event in Virginia on Thursday.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Organizers of the Dustin Damm Walk for Mental Health hope to raise $25,000 during the fifth-annual event in Virginia on Thursday.
The event, hosted by Range Mental Health Center, is named after a Mountain Iron man who was 28 when his body was found in the Rouchleau Pit southeast of Virginia on Aug. 8, 2008.
Damm, the son of Jeff and Marci Damm of Virginia, had been diagnosed at age 17 with schizoaffective disorder, said Matt Ostendorf, an analyst for Range Mental Health Center, in a news release. That’s a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that is characterized by withdrawals from reality, strong hallucinations and paranoia.
Damm had been reported missing on Aug. 5. That prompted an extensive search in the area of the water-filled pit, where his truck was found. The searchers unexpectedly found the body of another man who also had been diagnosed with mental illness. Damm’s death was ruled accidental.
His parents initiated the mental health walk the following May. The money raised is used to support medical, housing and transportation needs for community members struggling with mental illness. Last year’s walk raised $17,000.
The walk will take place at 5 p.m. in Virginia’s Olcott Park, or in Miners Recreation Center in the event of inclement weather. It will include raffles, a silent auction, food and beverages, musical entertainment by Pulse and other attractions.
Anyone interested in registering a team should call Susan Garrett at (218) 780-7115 or visit www.DustinDamm.com.