The second annual "Waukegan Cares Walk for Awareness" 5K event will be held Saturday, August 9. Designed to raise awareness and support the Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force, the walk's check-in time is 10:30 a.m. at the People's Choice Family Fun Center, 2411 Grand Avenue in Waukegan. Walkers will step off at 11 a.m. after brief remarks by Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran and Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim.
Registration for the 5K fundraiser is $25, which includes an event T-shirt and a free lunch. Additional T-shirts are available for $15. Registration will be accepted up to the time of the walk. To register to walk, please contact Tom Granger at: 847.417.2495.
The 5K route (which walkers will navigate twice) will go from Grand Avenue east to Leith Avenue and south to Brookside Avenue. It will then go around Waukegan High School to McAree Road, north to Brookside, east to Leith and north to the Family Fun Center, where a festival begins at 11 a.m. The festival will feature a police dunk tank, a moon walk and wellness screening as well as a paid lunch for participating walkers. At 12:30 p.m., the festival will feature a police K-9 demonstration with Waukegan Officer Keith Lamana.
A number of organizations will also be providing information tables, including: The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Waukegan 9-1-1 Center, Vista Health, Lake County Health Department's Trauma Treatment Program, Waukegan Public Library, Family Services, Chiro One, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Lake County State's Attorney's Office, Norstates Bank (college tuition program), Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services, Waukegan Police Department, and the Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force.
Sponsors of the fund-raiser are Vista Health, Wal-Mart, Waukegan Public Library, Waukegan F.O.P. Lodge 5, Waukegan Police Association, Coral Chemical, Cancer Treatment Center of America (Zion), Gurnee F.O.P. Lodge 266, Ink'ntees, Rental Depot, Norstates Bank, Russ Wells, Waukegan 3rd Ward Alderman Greg Moisio, Waukegan 7th Ward Alderman Lisa May, and Waukegan 8th Ward Alderman Bill Valko.
Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting, harmful effects not only on individuals attempting suicide, but also their families, and communities. In the past five years the annual number of suicides in Lake County has ranged from 61 to 70 per year. The Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force strives to deepen awareness, prevent suicide and save lives through education, linkage to resources, and treatment within the community. For more information, call: (847) 377-8180.