Hornets for Hope is partnering with the local suicide prevention non-profit organization, Beacon for Hope, to put together a Light the Way for Hope walk. The purpose of the walk is to help connect the Emporia State and Emporia community so participants can talk with other members about their mental health issues. 

“It’s just going to be a way for people on campus to get together and talk about their emotions and their experiences and stuff and really make connections with people,” said Beth Wright, president of Hornets for Hope, board member for Beacon of Hope and freshman art education and art therapy major. “That’s really what our walks are generally about. Making connections with people because it really does help with the whole healing process.” 

The event has no registration fee but will feature a raffle and bake sale where the money collected will help send people to receive ‘Question. Persuade. Refer’ suicide prevention training, according to Wright. 

“We’re hoping that if this walk goes well we can fund that,” Wright said. “If that goes well we can have more training and the more people we can get trained on campus the healthier campus is going to be.” 

Participants have the option to either walk the black route or run the gold route while also being able to participate in the ribbon walk. Maps of the routes can be found on the Light the Way for Hope event page. 

“The ribbon walk is just going to be ribbons tied down the walk that the walk goes through and people will be able to write positive thoughts, names of people they lost, connections, stories of themselves,” Wright said. “That way you can really visualize how many people have really been affected.” 

Melissa Kurtenbach, executive director of Beacon for Hope, used to organize the Out of the Darkness walks in Emporia and is helping with this event. 

“(The) Light the Way for Hope walk is to link our community members together through support and hope,” Kurtenbach said. “Our walks focus on the people who attend versus the amount of money raised.  Providing an event where individuals have a safe place to talk with other members about their mental health issues is our top priority.  We measure the success of our event by the number of individuals who attend.” 

Along with the walks, there will also be a student speaker, Lucas Lord, who will discuss their story along with coping mechanisms, a memorial wall and a bubble release. 

The Light the Way for Hope suicide prevention walk and fun run is this Saturday. Registration starts at 10 a.m. with  the walk starting at 12 p.m. Due to the predicted colder weather for the weekend, registration will take place in the Union Square. 

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