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Filed under Around WRHS, Feature, News

Luetje, St John Walk in Fundraiser to Prevent Mental Illness

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Photo imaging teacher Mary St. John and photo imaging and yearbook teacher Jennifer Luetje pose at the NAMI fundraiser on May 13 in Topeka, Kan.

With May being Mental Health Awareness month, states all across the country are bringing recognition to the issue. On May 13, Topeka, Kansas, sprang in on the action with their annual fundraiser walk.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) hosted a fundraising two mile walk at Hummer Sports Park also known as a “NAMIWalk.” They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing knowledge and bringing awareness to mental health.

Photo imaging teacher Mary St. John and photo imaging and yearbook teacher Jennifer Luetje walked in the event. This is St. John’s third year walking with NAMI. For the past two years, walking in the event has been more than just a fundraiser to her.

“I started doing it in memory of a dear friend of mine who took her own life three years ago,” St John said. “I believed a 5K was the best way to show my support because my friend was a runner.” ”

— St. John

“I started doing it in memory of a dear friend of mine who took her own life three years ago,” St. John said. “I believed a 5K was the best way to show my support because my friend was a runner.”

As for Luetje, she was asked by St. John to accompany her and was happy to join.

Towards the beginning of the race all participants were invited to stretch and do warm up dances as a group. Then, after walking around Hummer, those watching filled the air with cheer and applause as each participant crossed the finish line.

“Also, there was a photo booth at the finish line, so we took some fun photos with goofy hats and glasses,” Luetje said. “It was a great time.”

Although the event is once a year, St. John’s desire to bring awareness to mental health stretches far beyond it. She has assigned her photo imaging class to make Mental Health Awareness posters for an upcoming event. The posters will be displayed on Friday, May 19 at the Creation of Hope Gallery in NOTO.

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The student news site of Washburn Rural High School
Luetje, St John Walk in Fundraiser to Prevent Mental Illness