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‘Out of the Darkness’ Walk Draws Hundreds, Raises Thousands

Saturday evening’s Greater Lycoming Walk, bringing hope to those affected by suicide’s nondiscriminating touch and wresting public attention “Out of the Darkness,” attracted 396 participants and raised more than $14,500 to fund prevention and awareness activities. Aligned with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, walkers – some comprising teams to honor absent friends and family members; others banded together from college offices, fraternities and athletics – traveled a 5K campus course that started and finished at the Field House. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 31.

– Photos by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer

A river of Wildcat blue, fueled by goodwill, flows along the campus mall.
A river of Wildcat blue, fueled by goodwill, flows along the campus mall.

Solar-powered members of the "Stepping Towards Sunshine" team wear T-shirts symbolizing triumph over despair.
Solar-powered members of the “Stepping Towards Sunshine” team wear T-shirts symbolizing triumph over despair.

Community Peer Educator Timothy J. Schafer Jr. relates a personal story during a pre-walk gathering.
Community Peer Educator Timothy J. Schafer Jr. relates a personal story during a pre-walk gathering.

Signs along the course remind participants of their importance to the cause.
Signs along the course remind participants of their importance to the cause.

Student involvement – represented here by Danielle R. Wesneski (left), a baking and pastry arts major from Williamsport, and Amber L. Way, of Port Matilda, enrolled in pre-nursing – was key to the event's success.
Student involvement – represented here by Danielle R. Wesneski (left), a baking and pastry arts major from Williamsport, and Amber L. Way, of Port Matilda, enrolled in pre-nursing – was key to the event’s success.

Guston J. Bird (right), who holds two information technology degrees from Penn College, returns to campus as a chaplain with the Pennsylvania National Guard Family Program.
Guston J. Bird (right), who holds two information technology degrees from Penn College, returns to campus as a chaplain with the Pennsylvania National Guard Family Program.

Walkers travel north from the Field House on the first leg of their quest for hope, help and healing.
Walkers travel north from the Field House on the first leg of their quest for hope, help and healing.

As nightfall nears, the glow of luminaria lights the way.
As nightfall nears, the glow of luminaria lights the way.