CLINTON — It is a story that has been told time and time again — one of a young student being bullied and ridiculed at school and feeling like there is no way out.
For Rita Walton, now is the time to stand up and say there is a way out and there is support for those affected.
“I just saw so many of these kids that felt like they had no way out,” Walton said. “I wanted to do something to create awareness to show them that they can talk to someone.”
Walton’s drive to raise that awareness has come in the form of the first Anti-Bullying Glow Walk, that will be Friday from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the Eagle Point Park Lodge in Clinton.
The theme is to “glow up the park,” bringing hope and support to kids affected by bullying and suicide.
“It’s a cause that so many people believe in. (They) have been affected by it so much, that I think they really need this,” Walton said.
Although the idea came in to existence by Walton, she said without the support from her friends, local business and the community as a whole, she never could have done it.
“The community has been amazing,” Walton said. “I haven’t even needed to ask for anything, they have just been flooding me with support.”
Some of that support has come in the form of donations, like the 500 hotdogs and buns from Maid Rite; a recliner for the silent auction from Slumberland Furnature; and a grill and volunteer to cook from HyVee.
Therapists from Bridgview Community Mental Health Center will donate their time to speak with kids and community members at the glow walk about the importance of understanding mental health.
One particular speaker, David Sievers, feels the glow walk delivers an important message to people and is glad he could get involved.