Packers Hall of Famer raising awareness about suicide

Former Packers kicker Chester Marcol.
Former Packers kicker Chester Marcol.

OSHKOSH – A Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer continues to raise awareness and money for suicide prevention.

Chester Marcol says an upcoming event in Oshkosh holds personal meaning for him.

“People lose people through suicide,” said Marcol. “They grieve, they cry, they bury people and then it seems like it’s swept under the carpet and no one wants to talk about it.”

Marcol wants to change that. His father and youngest brother both died by suicide.

Marcol also tried to take his own life in 1986.

He was a kicker for the Packers for nine seasons and may be best known for a play in 1980. Marcol ran a blocked field goal in for a touchdown in overtime against the Chicago Bears.

Thirty-four years later, after battling mental health and substance abuse issues, Marcol is talking about suicide prevention.

“Being able to be very open about it allows a person who may be quiet, who may not be willing to say anything about their thoughts of suicide, they might come forward and get help,” he said.

He’s the namesake for an annual fundraiser in Oshkosh. This year’s 5K run/walk will take place on Saturday, April 26 at Oshkosh North High School.

Chairperson Jenny Wesner hopes to see more than 1,000 people at the event. She also has a personal connection, as her 18-year-old son died by suicide.

“I felt it was very important for me to reach out to the rest of the people in our community, because I know there are so many who have lost people to suicide,” said Wesner.

Wesner has a goal of raising $50,000 this year with the money going to organizations in the Oshkosh area.

The event also will have information about mental health and suicide prevention, so people can learn more and talk about it.

“We just hope we can help to save one life,” said Marcol.

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