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Mahwah Family Raises $5,000 In Annual Suicide Awareness Walk

Craig and Elaine Arnoldi rallied in honor of their son, Nick Arnoldi, at this year's "Out of the Darkness" walk. Photo Credit: Susie Wilson
Elaine Arnoldi, middle row, third from left, and Jessica McClendon, to her left, surrounded by members on Nick's Team at the suicide awareness walk on Oct. 25. Photo Credit: Susie Wilson
Members of the Plant Church support the Arnoldi Family at the Oct. 25 suicide awareness walk. Photo Credit: Susie Wilson
Lorraine Leierzapf, right, and other members of Nick's Team pose for a photo before the walk. Photo Credit: Lorraine Leierzapf
Elaine Arnoldi addresses her supporters at the suicide awareness walk. Photo Credit: Jessica McClendon
Desirae Guzman designed the shirts for Nick's Team. Photo Credit: Lorraine Leierzapf
Hundreds of supporters gathered in Saddle Brook for the "Out of the Darkness" walk and candlelight vigil. Photo Credit: Susie Wilson

MAHWAH, N.J. — A Mahwah family raised more than $5,000 at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s “Out of the Darkness” walk on a cloudy Sunday morn in Saddle Brook.

The Arnoldis and their loved ones rallied in honor of Nick Arnoldi — who killed himself at 28 — after a long battle with mental illnesses.

The love this weekend overwhelmed his mother.

“The support is just amazing,” said Elaine Arnoldi, who connected with the mother of a 17-year-old suicide victim.

Arnoldi recently lauched a support group in Wyckoff for parents of suicide victims. ( SEE: Mahwah Mother Of Suicide Victim Starts Support Group ).

This year was the family’s third year participating in the walk. Jessica McClendon, Arnoldi’s daughter, said it was their best year yet.

“It was a really great feeling to have more and more people supporting our team every year,” she said. "It’s also kind of sad because the walk gets bigger and bigger, and you know the reason is because we’re losing more people.”

Jessica McClendon, Arnoldi’s daughter, is glad that her mother is helping others through her loss.

“She didn’t find that support when she was going through her grief,” McClendon said. “I hope she can be for other people what she was looking for.”

Lorraine Leierzapf came out to support the Arnoldi family.

"Nick was my best friend for half my life. We all miss him so much," she said. "[Elaine] has really found a way to remember him."

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