You know their names. You know their faces. You think you know them, until you don’t.
They are the 15-20% of our children and adolescents who suffer with depression, many of whom statistically will not survive high school, leaving their communities to wonder what they could have done. This year, you can do something.
Join Erika’s Lighthouse on Sunday, May 15th, at Hubbard Woods Gazebo, from 2-4 PM for the 8th Annual “Rock & Rally” Walkathon to “shed light on adolescent depression.”
As in past years, a $20.00 participation fee includes live music by Troubled Identity, a hot DJ, cool raffle prizes, and a T-shirt you’ll look great in.
For more information, and to download a pre-registration form (you can also register at the Walk), call 847-386-6481 or visit ErikasLighthouse.org.
Blast stigma and have a blast doing it!
Part fundraiser, part festival, all fun for the entire family, this 2-mile walk through the streets of Hubbard Woods and along Winnetka’s Lakefront is the biggest event of the year for this Winnetka-founded organization. “It’s the best way we know to honor our kids, spread the word and get people talking about this isolating disease,” says Peggy Kubert, ELH executive director and practicing social worker.
“I didn’t know that!”
An integral part of the walkathon is the informational signs placed along the route. The bright blue thought-provoking signs are hard to ignore, and invariably elicit an “I didn’t know that” from walkers. The idea is to “get the conversation going among people who might not even have known each other before the walk,” says Kubert.
Antioch and Beyond!
What started more than 8 years ago as a 15-minute walk around the Washburne playfields to honor their friend, Erika Neuckranz, has evolved into one of Winnetka’s most visible and popular events. “This event speaks to the kids like almost nothing else we do,” admits Kubert. And each year, teams of teachers and students come from increasingly further away as the foundation’s programs are introduced into their schools’ curriculum. “Our message is getting out, because it’s needed,” says Kubert. Recently, the group was asked to present its programs to the Illinois Department of Education in Springfield.
A T-Shirt You’ll Look Great In
“The T-shirts are the most popular aspect of the Walk, I think,” admits Heather Steward, Teen Club Coordinator. “The kids design them and pick the color. This year it’s bright turquoise. Talk about shedding light!”
Suicide is a leading cause of death in teens and often stems from untreated depression. For more than eight years, Erika’s Lighthouse has been dedicated to raising awareness and blasting stigma through the Red Flags middle school curriculum, teacher education, the Teen Club—one of New Trier’s most popular—Teen Panel discussions in middle and high schools and colleges, a Parent Handbook, and most recently, a Young Adult Board and an affiliated teen club at Glenbrook South High School.