The SAM Foundation's first Sowing Seeds of Hope Celebration and Golf Tournament benefit is set for Oct. 11 and 12.

This event is geared toward helping continue to fund the work and services provided by the SAM Foundation in the communities.

The SAM Foundation formed in April of 2018 as a 501c3, whose mission is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education.

“We hope to change the way our communities view mental health and serve as a resource to those who have been affected by suicide,” Nicole Goggans, Alabama program coordinator said.

Linda Thomas, a volunteer, said the family of Nicole Goggans and Julie Smith has been funding the SAM Foundation, but now it’s time to get the community involved.

Thomas said “[involving] the people who loved Sam and want to see more awareness for suicide prevention and mental health,” is the goal.

Currently, there are a variety of sponsorship opportunities available until Sept. 1.

Volunteer Joann Newton said organizations and business who have received their purple packets need to make sure to turn them in by Sept. 1.

Anyone wishing to purchase individual tickets may do so after Sept. 1.

All proceeds from the two-day event will benefit the SAM Foundation.

Goggans said since Jan. 3 of this year, they have trained 749 people in Northeast Alabama at no cost to the participant.

“Each educational program is free and is targeted for a specific group to help our communities identify and help suicidal individuals,” Goggans said.

Thomas said the celebration will kick off with the golf tournament, followed by a dinner, a silent and live auction, a guest speaker and entertainment for the evening.

The golf tournament will be held on Oct. 11 at Terrapin Hills Country Club in Fort Payne.

The SAM Foundation celebration event is set to take place on October 12 at The Building located on 301 Gault Avenue North Fort Payne.

Event organizers expressed their thanks to all the volunteers that are helping organize the event.

Newton and Thomas said suicide does not discriminate any walks of life. The pair said most people who are touched by suicide are often left with unanswered questions.

“We want to keep other families from experiencing this tragedy through awareness,” Newton said.

If you have any items, you wish to donate, or funds to contribute, contact the event organizers listed below.

For questions, dinner tickets and sing-ups contact the following via phone, email, or text Linda Thomas at 256-997-6451,; JoAnn Newton at 256-996-1250,; Nicole Goggans at 256-630-2070,

“Please help us continue to offer these trainings for free by donating to The SAM Foundation,” said Goggans.

In a future article, details of event activities and specific times will be announced.

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