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CowPok Tattoo Gallery hosts Semicolon Fundraiser

A local tattoo artist used a personal tragedy to pay it forward.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — CowPok Piercing and Tattoo Gallery hosted it's fourth annual Semicolon Fundraiser to bring awareness to suicide prevention Saturday. More than 200 people passed through the shop's doors to get the semicolon tattoo Saturday afternoon.

Crisis Services was also on site to offer assistance to people standing in line.

The fundraiser began when tattoo artist Marc Lavey discovered his cousin took his own life. He decided to turn that event into something positive by raising money for Crisis Services. The semicolon has become synonymous with suicide prevention. The tattoo symbolizes a choice to continue living after contemplating suicide.

"It's that your life could have been over but you put a comma in there with it and decided to continue your story and tell your life. The story of your life," Lavey told 2 On Your Side.

Lavey says that he hopes the event will prompt others to seek help if they need.

"If there's anything that I want people to take away it's that you're not alone.

For more information on Crisis Services you can visit their website. The 24-hour hotline can be reached at 716-834-3131.