People walk a lighted path in McGuire Lake Park for the Suicide Safer Communities Lantern Walk on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The walk was to remember those who died by suicide and offer support and awareness of the issue in the community. -Image Credit: Tracy Hughes/Salmon Arm Observer

Lantern walk remembers, shares hope

More than 150 participated in second annual Salmon Arm Suicide After Communities event

Little lights were aglow around McGuire Lake Wednesday night to remember those who have died by suicide and raise awareness of the issue.

For the second year, people listened to music, messages of hope from speakers and walked, lanterns in hand, around the lakeside path.

More than 150 people gathered for the event. Some hugging and shedding tears, others listening in quiet contemplation as speakers acknowledged the grief that comes with a death by suicide. Participants were also encouraged to reach out if they, or someone they knew was struggling with thought of suicide. A team of people, designated with glow sticks, were there to provide support to anyone who was feeling the need to talk.

Due to the fire ban, candles were not permitted, but organizers managed to secure battery-powered votive lights to ensure the lanterns were lit. Many of the lanterns were made by local children at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery’s Family Saturday program.

The jar-lanterns were labeled with comforting messages – Hope, Just breathe, Dream big, Be someone’s sunshine when times are grey.

“It is really remarkable to see,” says Capreece Bowers, one of the organizers, as people walked past with their lanterns lit. “It makes you realize just how many people in our community have been touched by suicide.”

There was also a resource table set up where people could leave messages and find out about community programs. A support group for those who have experienced a death by suicide of a friend or family member is planned for Sept. 20 at 781 Marine Park Drive. For more information, contact Bowers at 250-804-6304 or Shannon Hecker at 250-832-8477.

If you or someone you know is in need, contact 1-800-Suicide (1-800-784-2433) or the Interior 24 Hour Crisis Line 1-888-353-2273.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna emergency crews rescue injured mountain biker

The woman fell from her bike on a Smith Creek trail

Hundreds of people gather at Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Almost 600 people are rallying in Stuart Park, downtown Kelowna

Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School launches part-time on-campus learning

The school has taken appropriate precautions for a safe return for staff and students

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

Second video of Kelowna RCMP arrest shows Mountie punching suspect at least 10 times

The officer involved in the incident has been reassigned to administrative duties

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Bear strolls into Okangan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Youth advocacy group pulls out of Vernon Black Lives Matter protest

Earth Strike Vernon pulled its support after concerns raised about Kelowna, Vernon protests

‘I just felt I had to do something’: Vernon Black Lives Matter protest organizer

Young woman organizes peaceful protest to take place next week at Vernon courthouse

Woman injured as purse snatched downtown Vernon

Two young men were arrested following detailed statements from witnesses

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Penticton principal Dave Ritchie.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read