Three year-old Skyler and two year-old Emma Gray lost their daddy, Austin Gray, to suicide on March 9th 2020. He would have turned 26 years old
With accounts set up for the children, proceeds from the 1st annual Suicide Sux Poker Run will benefit them this year.
“He loved his girls with everything in his being,” Tim Gray, Austin’s father and grandfather to his daughters, shared. “Austin was a hard working young man that after his graduation from Woodward High in 2013, went into the oilfield and had recently been working for Diamond Services Company. He was 25 years old at the time of his passing.”
On August 20th, Austin would have had his 26th birthday. He had been planning to begin working with his dad doing epoxy countertops. He also loved to fish, according to Gray.
According to Gray, 48,344 people committed suicide in 2018 in the United States. On average, the nation suffers one person taking their own life every 40 seconds, with an average 22 veterans commit suicide each day.
“These are not made up numbers. But these numbers are totally unacceptable,” Gray stressed. “There is always hope, always someone willing to lend an ear.”
Open to all ages, the Suicide Sux Poker Run is being held Saturday, Aug. 22 from 12 p.m. through 7 p.m. at Crystal Beach Park. The event will include a poker run, guest speakers, live auction, and barbecue.
“We will be allowing family and friends of love ones a chance to tell their stories, how to notice any signs and more,” Gray said. “Several speakers will take the stage to discuss the need to address the rising number of suicides that are taking the lives of our loved ones, family and friends.”
As the schedule is still tentative, check the Austin Gray Memorial Page or the 1st annual Suicide Sux Poker Run event page on Facebook for updates and registration information.
“Noon is registration for Poker Run with kickstands up at 1 p.m.,” Gray said. “All street legal vehicles are welcome to attend.”
The suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255.
To book an outdoor vendor space at this event or to make a donation please contact Tim Gray at 580-216-1988, at Epoxy Worx 580-216-1988 or Tara Price at 580-571-4182.