Two young men from Decorah are preparing to canoe the Mississippi River to raise money for suicide prevention. Corey Smock came up with the idea as a way to honor the memory of his cousin, Adam Christopherson, who committed suicide in January 2013. Smock told KCRG-TV his cousin always seemed to have a smile on his face and enjoyed being a father — so no one suspected he’d take his own life.
“I think he was going through, kind of a divorce I think,” Smock said. “You don’t really…you don’t expect somebody that can be that happy and that smiley could just be dealing with so much pain.” Smock wanted make sure others suffering like Christopherson get help before it’s too late. Smock and a friend, Lance Loney, plan to raise money as they paddle the entire length of the Mississippi.
Funds will go toward the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The trip will start in early June. The two will enter the river in Minnesota and head more than 2,300 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico. Loney expects the journey will take around 60 days, which is a much longer time than the pair have spent in a canoe together.
“Two or three days, that’s it, so this is quite the step,” Loney said with a laugh. Smock realizes they’ve set a lofty goal, as they hope to raise $10,000.”You know every penny counts,” Smock said. “Whether we hit the goal or not, I think it’s important that people know, ‘Hey, if I can donate a dollar or two dollars that might save a friend of mine. You never really know.”
Those wanting to donate to Smock and Loney’s suicide prevention effort can do so through the duo’s website.
From KCRG TV.