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Suicide awareness, prevention walk tonight at GHHS

Krystle Wagner • Oct 25, 2018 at 9:00 AM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — The community is invited to join an effort to raise awareness about suicide and prevention.

The second annual Walk for Light will begin at 7:30 tonight at Buccaneer Stadium at Grand Haven High School. Gates will open at 7 p.m. for the free event. T-shirts will be sold for $15, with proceeds going to the walk.

The walk was started last year as a way to raise awareness about suicide and honor seven Grand Haven students whose lives were lost, and to support individuals who are struggling, GHHS senior Natalie Koetsier said.

“Our goal is to lift people up,” she said.

More than 200 people participated in last year’s walk. This year's walk will also include glow sticks to represent that they are walking for light.

GHHS senior Sydney McCastle said people often don't want to talk about suicide.

“If you don’t, the stigma doesn’t go away,” she said.

Koestier encourages people to attend the walk because it's an eye-opening experience that is unique and powerful. She said there's a sense of community among the participants.

McCastle and Koetsier have volunteered with fellow students to host the walk, which holds a special meaning for them, having lost a friend and classmates to suicide.

Koestier said she's learned and grown a lot from having lost a close friend. The event has helped her find her “voice.”

“I want to help other people find their voice,” she said.

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