Softball teams host game to raise suicide awareness

Published 5:49 am Friday, September 16, 2022

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On Sept. 3, three women’s softball teams paid $100 each to play in a three-team tournament at a Middlesboro T-ball field to honor one of their friends.

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The fee went directly to upkeep of the field, but it was well worth the cost to promote a noble cause – suicide prevention.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month —a time to raise awareness of this stigmatized, and hard-to-talk-about topic.

The teams that came together, Short-Redmond, The Vintage Hitters and The Candaces did just that to remember their friend Candace Lynn England, who took her own life last Sept. 12 at age 34.

Originally known as The Bomb Squad, The Candaces changed their name this year for their fallen teammate.

The daughter of Sonya and Robert England and mother to Steven Hoover. England’s mother urges others to speak out if they see warning signs that someone might be a threat to themselves.

“I want everyone to know you can speak up,” Sonya England said. “And everyone around you wants you to speak up.”

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in adults age 25-34, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During her lifetime, England achieved many certifications reflective of her passions. Her latest venture was becoming a certified personal trainer, a field in which she found immense joy and satisfaction. She was known for her huge heart, feisty spirit, enthusiastic admiration for Ford Mustangs and most of all her love for her son.

England’s softball teammate, Brittany Treece, presented her fallen teammate’s parents with a jersey she was to have worn last season.

“We are humbled and grateful,” her mother said, “for The Candaces taking this opportunity to help raise awareness for suicide prevention.”

For more information, call the new 988 mental health hotline or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).