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Cadets raise more than $13,000 for suicide intervention efforts

UNG cadets completed 6,830 pushups and raised more than $13,000 for suicide interventions during the Courageous Challenge.

The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Corps of Cadets raised more than $13,000 for Armed Forces Mission's suicide intervention efforts through the Courageous Challenge pushup competition Feb. 13.

The cadets brought in $13,326 from 211 donors and completed 6,830 pushups. Golf Company and its supporters were responsible for $5,855 donations. Echo Company completed the most pushups with 819.

"We are honored to be a part of Courageous Challenge. Cadets helping raise awareness about suicide prevention is so timely during this pandemic," said retired Col. Joseph Matthews, UNG's commandant of cadets. "Next year, we hope to invite more groups from across UNG and the community to participate. Together, we can help stem the tide of suicide in our communities."

Armed Forces Mission, led by UNG alumnus Lt. Col. Ken Koon, conducts suicide interventions and teaches first responders to do the same. The Courageous Challenge also offered training to UNG cadets to know how to help if a friend or loved one is considering suicide.

This was the fifth year of the Courageous Challenge and the first held on UNG's Dahlonega Campus. In the past, Armed Forces Mission raised Courageous Challenge funds through corporations.

"It was so inspiring to me and such an encouragement to Armed Forces Mission leaders to see these cadets lead," Koon said. "I was energized and overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to once again be involved in the Corps of Cadets."

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