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Glow Run
At the 2019 Glow Run, Doug Bender, Suicide Prevention Task Force member, speaks to those gathered at Vets Park.

This year’s 8th annual Glow Run, organized by the Suicide Prevention Task Force, will look different than the past events that the group has sponsored. The goal of the group is still the same, to raise awareness of suicide ideation, to reduce the stigma for those suffering from depression, and to prevent suicides through education of signs and steps for prevention. The pandemic has necessitated changes due to social gathering restrictions. The usual 5K Run/Walk and the Remembrance ceremony will shift to a virtual event. Register on-line to compete in the virtual run/walk on the Suicide Prevention - Central Kansas Partnership Facebook page,

Registration is open from Sept. 1-30. Cost is $25, and the funds raised will be used for education to prevent suicide. One luminary, with a loved one’s name, will be included in the cost of registration for the Glow Run. Additional luminaries may also be purchased for $10 and the bags can be personally decorated by the donor or have the task force decorate it. These luminaries will be like the ones displayed at the Relay for Life events, and a picture of the luminary will be posted on the Facebook page during the month of September.  

From 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, in conjunction with the weekly Summer Street Stroll Farmers Market at the Barton County Courthouse Square in downtown Great Bend, those luminaries will be placed in the band shell. A Facebook Live Event will be held that evening to show off the luminaries and yard signs.

“Zero Reasons Why” yard signs will be available that night at the group’s booth and people can add their reason why suicide is not a wise option to a sign. These signs will then be posted around the courthouse square. #ZERO REASONS WHY is a campaign to spread the message to teens that there should be zero reasons why suicide should be an option. The local task force is partnering with this group.  

In the eight years since the task force’s inception, an annual 5K Run/Walk event has been held to raise awareness and funds for programs. Grant money and money raised by the Glow Run has been used to train area professionals and school personnel on suicide signs and prevention, as well as to sponsor Luke Maxwell, a suicide survivor, to speak with all area middle school and high school youth and the general public. The Task Force has also provided funding for the Yellow Ribbon campaign in area schools, sponsored a performance at Barton Community College, sponsored the movie “Suicide, The Ripple Effect” with free admission at the Golden Belt Cinema 6, and ran radio and print messages.    

Join the upcoming event to remember those who have lost their lives to suicide and to prevent more suicides from occurring. Together spread the message that all lives matter and that suicides can be prevented through recognition of signs of depression and seeking help. The task force’s motto is: “Your Life, It Matters.” The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at the toll-free telephone number 1-800-273-TALK (800-273-8255). New members in the local task force are always welcome. If interested, contact the Center for Counseling, 620-792-2544, for information about meeting times.