More than 100 people, mostly students, gathered at the City of Copperas Cove’s South Park to draw attention to teen suicide and speak out to prevent it.

The event was hosted by the Copperas Cove High School DECA chapter in partnership with the Copperas Cove Miss Five Hills Scholarship Program. The two organizations founded the event in 2017.

The event each year consists of a lighted walk with flashlights and electric candles along with personal testimonials of those who have been affected by suicide in an effort to make suicide a topic that is openly discussed. Participants also have the opportunity to write the name of a loved one on a butterfly and hang it on one of two Trees of Hope. The butterfly is a symbol create awareness about the silent struggle of those contemplating suicide.

Bush’s Chicken provided free drinks to all participants and the city of Copperas Cove provided park availability. The event is held annually during National Suicide Prevention Week which this year was Sept. 6-12.

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