The Moment 4 Life Colour Run, an event organized to raise awareness about suicide prevention, was open to volunteers and participants Thursday, September 10 at both the Ohsweken Horse Track and the Community Hall.
Each participant received “swag bags”, t-shirts and were invited to run or walk the horse track while having chalk paint thrown at them in certain sections of the track. Participants were then invited to eat and participate in activities and booths inside the Community Hall. In the parking lot outside of the Community Hall, booths from New Directions, Social Services, Redrum MC and several others were open to visitors.
Drama Student and Event Coordinator Kaitlyn Lickers said she was “excited” as she got to experience her project come to life.
“Brenda gave me this project, I started it in June,” she said, “I was working on it all summer, and between the brainstorming of the event and executing everything that need to be done, that took like months of time,” she said.
She further explained that suicide prevention groups are hoping to decrease the rate of suicide by 25% by 2025, and she wanted to contribute to that effort.
“This day has just been like my baby, the whole summer. I’m so excited and I just want to share everything I’ve been doing with everybody else, because I’ve worked for Mental Health and I just realize how much I have a passion for it,” she said. “Our community has never had anything like this colour run. That’s why I wanted to bring it here, because I had the opportunities and abilities to make it happen, so I did,” she said.
She explained that Scott Chism, a photography artist, was also invited to speak inside the Community Hall, along with a comedy and drama workshop by other speakers. She hoped the workshops would offer a different form of expression to those dealing with suicidal thoughts, and also give an idea as to how many opportunities are available to youth.
“I’m incorporating all of the arts, because a lot of the people I talked to this summer as well, have used a lot of expression. Especially with our culture, which was through art and through different things by means of art, or acting, or singing, or storytelling. All of these things help people present themselves without actually having to say ‘I’m feeling this way,’ or ‘I’m doing this.’ They’re expressing it in a way without having to come out and say it, it gives them an outlet,” she said. “With all of these people coming I wanted to make those opportunities known,” she said.