Suicide prevention walk gathers crowd of 125

Chelsea Cassudakis

More than 125 people showed up Saturday to support Gabe’s Walk for Suicide Prevention, put on by the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

The walk was an effort to raise awareness about suicide prevention and raise money for Kent State’s Counseling and Human Development Center and the Portage County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

The event was dedicated to Gabe Baumann, a suicide victim, and his family. Rick and Nancy Baumann, Gabe’s parents, attended the event and started the walk off with a few touching words on Gabe’s behalf, which included lyrics of a song written by a close friend who lost a loved one to suicide.

The Baumanns have become heavily involved in suicide prevention and awareness since the loss of their son. Rick explained that he is one of the directors of a suicide awareness group in Columbus and facilitated a “survivors of suicide” support group.

The event attracted volunteers from the College of EHHS, students of Kent State and community members.

Amanda Douvis, a sophomore applied mathematics and accounting major, partook in the cause for her own reasons.

“Two out of the three funerals I’ve ever been to have been death from suicide,” Douvis explained. “I like to volunteer and this event just hit close to home for me.”

Co-directors of the event Jason McGlothlin and Kristin Bruns agreed that the turnout proved a success for the first of an annual event.

“We were surprised by the turnout,” Nancy Baumann said about the event. “We feel so honored on behalf of Gabriel.”

Contact Chelsea Cassudakis at [email protected].