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Two May Day Events Support Suicide Prevention

16th Annual Nikki Lost&Found is hosting the 16th annual Nikki's Fund 5K Run and Walk and the Mental Health Month Charity Tap Event at Severance Brewing Saturday, May 1.

VERMILLION, S.D. – South Dakota residents and those far beyond the state’s borders will have two opportunities, Nikki’s Fund Virtual 5K Run/Walk and Severance Brewing Charity Tap Event, to support suicide prevention Saturday, May 1.

The 16th annual Nikki’s Fund 5K Run & Walk raises money to support University of South Dakota students seeking help for depression and suicide ideation, and it highlights efforts on USD’s campus to help students build resilience and prevent suicide. Hosted by the student-run USD chapter of Lost&Found, Nikki’s Run carries on a long legacy of helping students, faculty and staff support the mental health needs of USD students.

The Nikki’s Fund 5K event was created in 2006 by Janine Harris, a USD employee, in honor of her daughter Nicole “Nikki” Vallie Harris to support students who need medication and counseling support. With the help of volunteers from the Nicole Vallie Harris family, the USD Student Counseling Center and USD Lost&Found, the event has raised more than $50,000 over the past 16 years. Today, USD Lost&Found, a student mental health advocacy and mentorship organization, serves as the primary host and beneficiary of Nikki's Run to continue the legacy of students supporting students at USD. All proceeds are directed toward mental health peer advocacy programs for USD students who need a listening ear, connection to counseling or other on-campus resources, and activating peer support networks.

This year, the Nikki’s Fund 5K is virtual. Runners, walkers and supporters are encouraged to participate at any time that is convenient for them May 1 and share their results on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter with the hashtag #RunforResilience, #WalkforResilience or #ISupportResilience. Anyone who uses these hashtags will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card. Other prizes will also be given for individual and team achievements.

Registration is open until May 1 at 12 p.m. CST. Participants may register as individuals ($10) or may create a fundraising team of up to 25 people ($50) to increase their impact. See more details and register at http://bit.ly/nikkisrun.

From 12-5 p.m. on May 1, $1 of every beverage sold at Severance Brewing Co. in downtown Sioux Falls (701 N. Phillips Ave., #110) will be donated to support Lost&Found’s work changing the way everyone think about suicide prevention through data-driven, resilience-focused programs serving young adults.

The fund of this Mental Health Month Charity Tap event begins with the Lost&Found team sharing the rundown of the day’s events. Trivia Mafia starts at 1 p.m., and at 2 p.m, Lost&Found CEO Erik Muckey takes the stage to share the message of Lost&Found’s work and how everyone can be advocates for their own and their loved ones’ mental health. The Lost&Found team will share a last-call message at 4:30 p.m. before closing the afternoon.

All current Lost&Found FOUNDers Club members are invited to join the Lost&Found team at 12:30 p.m. for a special meet-and-greet with Lost&Found staff and volunteers at Severance.

If those interested in the event cannot attend in person, use the Severance "Pints for People" online purchasing program to buy a beverage to be redeemed at the brewery. Mention "Lost&Found" in the purchase notes.

Lost&Found delivers resilience education and mental health resources through student-led campus chapters at the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, Dakota Wesleyan University and Augustana University. Founded in 2010, Lost&Found takes a data-driven, strengths-based approach to suicide prevention efforts, delivering research tools that allow campus administrators to quickly understand and respond to student mental health needs with programs, policies and people.

ABOUT USD

Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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