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Run with the Herd celebrates 10th year benefiting suicide prevention

Runners and walkers are invited to help save a life at the 10th Annual Run with the Herd 5K/1K at Lake Phalen in Saint Paul on Thursday, June 20.

Registrants will join a community of suicide loss survivors and their supporters, celebrate lives of people lost to suicide, honor memories and support the work of suicide prevention. Registration includes pizza, beer and refreshments and funds SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education – a Bloomington-based national nonprofit.

Ten years ago in October 2014, Bob and Lynn Poferl lost their 26-year-old son Tim to suicide. He was a social man with a good job and his own home. He had also been privately struggling with depression for a long time.

“Tim was a great guy and had a lot of things going for him,” Bob said. “He put up a good front for those who cared for him, so it was shocking to learn he had taken his own life.”

The Poferls determined they had to do something to help others. They decided there was no better way to honor Tim, an avid runner, than a 5K raising awareness – that mental illness is ubiquitous, and that within our communities, we can each play a role in the fight against suicide and the work of suicide prevention through education, volunteering, fundraising and engaging with one another.

“RWTH has been very therapeutic for our family,” Bob said. “To be able to share Tim’s story each year and keep his memory alive helps us manage our grief and honor his memory.”

Over the years, Run with the Herd’s network of survivors and supporters has grown, and a memorial garden displayed at the event represents more than 20 suicide loss survivor families – a reminder of just how many communities are affected by suicide loss, and how we all must play a role in supporting people at risk.

“It’s inspiring to be surrounded by so many caring people at Run with the Herd,” Bob said. “People are comfortable sharing stories and memories of those we’ve lost. We acknowledge our losses together and learn ways to help those in our social circles who may be struggling. We keep the mood light and hopeful, and our supporters come back year after year.  The money raised is secondary to the conversations that occur throughout the evening.”

The event draws more than 200 people each year, and the Poferls have raised more than $250,000 for SAVE since the event started.

Registrants will enjoy an evening of running or walking, connection, pizza, refreshments, and contributing to SAVE’s mission: supporting suicide loss survivors, providing awareness and advocacy, and educating about suicide prevention and what each of us can do to SAVE lives.

“We miss Tim every single day. Sharing his story is impactful, and it helps breaks down the stigma around suicide and mental illness,” Lynn said. “We know our event has helped save lives.”

Registration is open at

Run with the Herd is presented with support from Aid Electric, Tradition Bank, Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund, Summit Brewing Company, The Game Show Studio, Kirk Duit Photography, St. Paul Saints and Minnesota Wild.

SAVE is a national suicide prevention nonprofit working to end the tragedy of suicide through education, training, advocacy and support of suicide loss survivors. We envision a nation that prioritizes mental health and suicide prevention efforts while reducing the impact of suicide on families and communities.

Please direct all inquiries to SAVE Marketing and Communications Manager Josie Gereszek at (952) 208-8488.