BY MARY WICOFF
A candlelight walk will honor nurses — past, present and future — on Tuesday.
The second annual Nurse’s Walk will begin at dusk, about 7 p.m., at Lincoln Park.
It’s being organized by Lakeview College of Nursing students Kayla Blackburn and Haley Kevil, both of Catlin; Nina Fainter of Homer; and Amanda Miller and Debbie Decker, both of Muncie.
The students hope the public will help light up a path at the park by purchasing a luminary. The luminaries will be sold for $5 each and will honor the nurse of the purchaser’s choice.
The idea for the walk stems from an event in the 1940s and ‘50s in Chicago to promote the profession. That walk was only six blocks long because, according to the priest who started it: “Nurses spend enough time on their feet and they don’t need to spend any more.”
Tuesday’s walk will be short, about a quarter of a mile.
Raffle tickets also will be sold at $1 apiece, five for $4 or arm’s length, $10.
Proceeds from the event will fund an academic scholarship for one Lakeview College of Nursing student.
Blackburn said the students chose a date that was close to Nurses’ Week on May 6, but before graduation on May 4.
She encouraged people to help honor a special nurse who is deceased, someone who’s in the field now or someone who hopes to become a nurse.
Besides, money collected will go toward helping a nursing student, she said, adding, “It’s for a good cause.”
Guest speaker will be Sharon Keith, a professor in leadership and management at the college, who will describe how the profession has changed over time.
There also will be a short walk in the park, and members of the public are welcomed to join. In case of rain, the walk will be canceled, Blackburn said, but other activities will continue at the bandstand.
Cake and punch will be served.
People may honor a particular nurse or nurses by purchasing a luminary for $5. The purchaser may write the nurse’s name and a message, such as one of remembrance, thanks or encouragement, on the bag.
Tea candles will be placed into the white paper bags and displayed on a path to the shelter at the park. More than 100 luminaries will be displayed.
Drawings will take place for the raffle and a scholarship winner.
The winner of the raffle will receive half of the raffle money raised. The other half will be added to the scholarship. To enter the drawing for a scholarship, a person must be enrolled at Lakeview College of Nursing and must be present at the walk.
Last year, the walk was conducted in October in collaboration with the Danville Area Community College nursing program. It raised $1,206, Blackburn said.
This year, Lakeview students decided to try staging the walk on their own, and set a goal of $500. However, more than $600 has been raised so far, she said.
Blackburn said she hopes the walk continues every year.
The walk is part of the students’ legacy project — a senior course requirement designed to leave a legacy to the local community.
To buy a luminary in honor of a nurse or to buy raffle tickets, go to the website http://www.thenurseswalk.weebly.com. You also may call the college at 709-0920, stop by the Lakeview College of Nursing at 903 N. Logan Ave., or at Lincoln Park before the walk starts.