Second student-run Walk for Prevention set for Sept. 25

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When friends Lance Chappelle and James Bodenheimer talked about taking part in the fight against child abuse, they wanted to make sure it wasn’t just talk. So, they identified ways their fellow Penn State students could make a positive impact. From those conversations, an annual event emerged with the goal to prevent child abuse through education and awareness.

The event is Penn State’s Walk for Prevention, and at 6 p.m. on Sept. 25, the group will hold the second installment of the fundraiser. The walk is 1.3 miles and runs through Penn State’s University Park campus. Registration is open to the public. Walkers can sign up at the event, which begins at the Thomas Building.

“We decided to take this issue head-on, and created an organization and event that makes a positive difference,” Chappelle, a senior in education, said. “With the resources and the engaged community we have here, the possibilities are endless.”

The Walk for Prevention club raises funds for Darkness to Light, a national nonprofit organization that focuses on the prevention of child abuse. Chappelle and Bodenheimer liked the idea of being proactive with the issue, so the two thought it was a perfect fit. The walk raises money for the organization’s Stewards of Children Training Program, which trains adults in understanding and identifying child abuse.

“It teaches adults how to deal with abuse properly and manage it, so it’s not mishandled,” Chappelle said.

Registration for the walk is $10, which is the cost to certify and educate one person through the Stewards of Children Training Program. Last year’s walk raised more than $5,000 with all funds staying in Central Pennsylvania. More than 500,000 adults worldwide have completed Stewards of Children training.

The Walk for Prevention group became an official University club last spring and continues to grow. It connected with Penn State’s Network on Child Protection and Well-Being to bolster its activities and resources, as well as collaborate with other campus groups and organizations that are a part of the fight against child abuse and maltreatment.

Visit the event page for more information on the walk. For information on the Darkness to Light organization, visit www.d2l.org.

Last Updated September 17, 2013