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Community Candlelight Vigil Oct. 22 Focuses on Bullying

Oct. 19, 2012. The LGBT Center at Appalachian State University will sponsor the Third Annual Community Candlelight Vigil Monday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. on Sanford Mall on campus. The public is invited to attend. Free parking is available within walking distance of the mall. Information on local and national resources will be shared. 

The vigil will address the bullying and harassment many young people experience and raise awareness of the prevalence of suicide among LGBT youth.

The featured speakers are Dr. Lori Gonzalez, provost and executive vice chancellor, and Dean of Students J.J. Brown. Christine Davé, assistant director of Learning Support Services at Appalachian; Rev. Tommy Brown with Campus Ministries; and Lauren Fine, president of Hillel, will offer blessings at the vigil.

Tommy Wrenn, a junior political science major, and William Post, a sophomore accounting major, are co-coordinators for this year’s vigil. “The first vigil was a profoundly touching experience in my first semester at Appalachian,” Wrenn said. Post added, “The vigil offers an opportunity for us to come together as a community. I cannot think of a more powerful expression of unity and compassion.”

The October 2010 ceremony in Boone honored the memory of seven teens from across the U.S. who took their own lives in the weeks preceding the vigil. This year’s vigil will include a moment of silence to honor the lives lost due to bullying and harassment of any kind.

Resources related to bullying, harassment and suicide prevention are available at www.lgbt.appstate.edu, http://counseling.appstate.edu, www.thetrevorproject.org, www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org and www.tylerclementi.org