Butler to participate in Walk to Save Lives

On April 30, students will be participating in the Walk to Save Lives from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Walk to Save Lives, put on by the Butler chapter of To Write Love On Her Arms, is a walk that raises money for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

Amber Sapp, a sophomore psychology major and president of the Butler TWLOHA chapter, said that the money raised goes to programs for education and prevention.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the walk begins at 11.

“We hope a lot of people show up,” Sapp said. “There’s no need to register early. A lot of people usually end up coming to walk the day of.”

So far about 60 people are signed up to participate.

“Usually a couple hundred [people participate], but since we’re a smaller campus, we’re not expecting several hundred,” said Krista Miller, a sophomore electronic journalism major. “We have 60 participants signed up already, and our goal was at least 50, so we’re happy with that.”

Some people participating in this walk have participated in other walks like this before.

Emma Rhoads, a freshman biology and pre-veterinary major, participated in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in Chicago, Ill., with her family during the summer of 2009.

“The event started at 7 p.m., at Soldier field where families told their stories about how they’ve personally been affected by suicide,” Rhoads said. “The walk was 16.8 miles throughout downtown Chicago. There were rest breaks every couple of miles where they would give you snacks and make sure you were doing okay.

“Along the way there were many people walking there for support if you felt the need to talk.

“The walk concluded in Soldier Field where they had all the luminary bags that people made, lined up to make a pathway up to the final endpoint. My family made ours in honor of my mom.”

Rhoads said that more than 2,000 people participated in that walk.

The AFSP holds walks at campuses all over the United States, which lead up to the overnight walk in the summer.

The Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk is held every summer in different cities throughout the country. This summer’s is in New York.

Sapp and Miller participated in the Walk to Save Lives in Bloomington, Ind., last year, and then the walk in Indianapolis this past fall.

“[The walk] was really meaningful and touching, so I thought that it would be great if we did this on the Butler campus,” Miller said.

Miller said these walks bring up a subject that isn’t always talked about.

“I’m a huge supporter of these walks because I don’t think many people are aware of how important this situation is,” Rhoads said. “Suicide is the No. 2 killer of college students.

“Many people do not realize what the AFSP does. What these walks do is raise awareness in the community about suicide prevention.”

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