Wilkes students, faculty and members of the community will have the chance to celebrate life and “Glow Through the Darkness” at the 5th annual Glow Run on April 13.
Sponsored by the Office of Residence Life, this annual nighttime event allows participants to splatter themselves with glow-in-the-dark paint, wear glow sticks and run or walk a 5K around Wilkes-Barre.
The Glow Run began five years ago when the Office of Residence Life wanted to hold an event to raise suicide prevention and awareness.
All proceeds from the Glow Run go to the local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This organization funds research, offers educational programs and promotes prevention to fulfill their mission of saving lives and providing support for those affected by suicide.
Dylan Fox, coordinator for this year’s Glow Run, said putting the event together was a rewarding experience both professionally and personally.
“As my third year helping out with the event, it is amazing seeing the suicide awareness that has been generated through the 5K, as well as the donation we are able to provide the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” Fox said.
Fox said the event continues to add exciting new features each year. Following the Glow Run will be a Celebration of Life event on the greenway with a live band.
This Celebration of Life adds to the nature of the event that Fox called “unique and upbeat” to raise awareness about an otherwise solemn topic.
Fox added that an important part of the event is the unified feeling among participants who are passionate about its cause.
“The Glow Run is an event where our family of Colonels comes together for a common cause and stands together in support of one another,” he said.
Director of Residence Life Debbie Scheibler said her department is “pumped” to be continuing the Glow Run tradition at Wilkes.
“Any light we can shine on the issues of mental health awareness and suicide prevention are vitally important in breaking down stigmas and educating folks on warning signs, resources and other avenues of support,” she said.
Fox said this event is important not only to the Wilkes campus, but to the Wilkes-Barre area as a whole.
“This event also helps the greater community by allowing us to partner with local organizations and resource centers,” he said, “as well as giving back to the community in support of their missions and efforts they do day in and day out.”
Partners for the Glow Run include the Family Service Association of Wyoming Valley and the Luzerne County Mental Health and Development Services. The Wilkes-Barre Police Department also provides support for the event.
“The Wilkes community has always supported us tremendously,” Fox said.
Fox emphasized that along with volunteers and organizations, the core of the event lies in the people who choose to sign up and run or walk for suicide awareness.
“This event would not be possible without the participants who breathe life into the Glow Run,” he said.
The Glow Run on April 13 will take place at 8:30 p.m. Registration begins at 7 p.m. in the McHale Athletic Center located in the University Center on Main. The cost is $5 for undergraduates and $10 for all others. For more information, contact [email protected]