By: Brandee Wharton

On July 14th, we will be having the Ride for Life Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Poker Run for our first responders. All the money raised will be given to the Denver Firefighters Charitable Foundation and the Foundation1023, and our goal is to provide financial services for any mental health needs without the added burden of having any out of pocket expense for therapy or services.

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If, God forbid, there is an incident within our family of uniformed heroes, our goal is to meet the needs of the family they leave behind with the services they need to get through their difficult times. PTSD and job-related depression are taking our first responders at an alarming rate. I know firsthand how it can end when it is not treated.

I lost my Dad, Denver Fire Lt. A. A. Wharton, in July of 1994 to this often-silent killer. In Colorado alone, we have a reported 20 (approx.) department suicides a year, but the number is probably closer to 40+. They fight a battle we will never know. Join us in remembering our fallen heroes who have lost the war.

Our event will start and end on Saturday, July 14th at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse in Golden, CO.

For more information on these charities, please visit