ORION Foundat;on breaks the silence on suicide
By Caitlin Boland

The ORION Foundat;on held an event to bring awareness to suicide on Sept. 30, the final day of Suicide Prevention Month.
The foundation was established as a tribute to the memory of Oriona “Ori” Jada Sims.
Oriona Sims’ mother, Dr. Latisha Sims, said Oriona was a selfless, artistic young lady who knew how to find the beauty in everything. Ori Sims passed unexpectedly at the age of 15 on July 25, 2014.
“Ori was an ideal student with many innate artistic abilities,” Sims said. “She was an upcoming sophomore in high school whose passion for music led to participation in the school choir and concert band. Ori learned to play various musical instruments: viola, trumpet, euphonium and piano (self-taught).”
Sims added that her daughter’s fondness for performing arts was demonstrated in show stopping performances where she acted, sang, danced and completed gymnastics routines. Oriona Sims was a member of the winter guard at her high school, twirling flags and rifles to choreographed routines. Oriona Sims also sewed, painted, took digital photos and studied videography.
“Besides being imaginatively talented, Ori’s smile, jokes and noble character confirmed her heart of gold,” Sims said. “Her peaceful spirit spoke volumes to everyone who knew her. Ori’s 15 years on earth were spent being an angel to her family. She was her ma’s right-hand-woman, she was truly daddy’s little girl, her sister’s confidant and her brother’s keeper. Ori had a knack for making everyone feel special and loved.”
Sims said keeping her daughter’s legacy alive was a main driver for establishing the memorial fund.
“Our daughter's unique mind and sincere passion for the arts led us in the direction of celebrating talent,” Sims said.
The Sept. 30 presentation, titled “The Silent S,” included singing, dance, prayer, a shared experience presentation from Marcus Reynolds and an education presentation from the Rev. Rodney Lockett, who is trained in suicide prevention counseling.
“Suicide. That’s a very hard word for people to say,” Lockett said. “It’s a very tough subject for people to talk about.”
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS, see the full story in the Oct. 5, 2017, issue of The McDuffie Progress. To have The McDuffie Progress delivered to your home or business each week, simply call 706-595-1601 to subscribe. Or, follow the link on our home page to subscribe.
Jordan Deshong provided an instrumental and singing performance.

Dr. Latisha Sims, the late Oriona Sims' mother, served as emcees for “The Silent S” presentation.





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