Kevin Redsky accepts a donation from Crumbs Cakery and Cafe, handed to him by Joni Laberge. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Sparwood joins cross-country walk for youth mental health

Kevin Redsky is walking from Winnipeg to Vancouver to raise awareness through Hope in the Darkness

Hope in the Darkness, a walk raising awareness for youth mental health, is making its way through the Elk Valley, passing through Sparwood on Sept. 9, with another leg of the walk in Fernie tomorrow (Sep. 10).

The walk began in Winnipeg on Jul. 15, and will finish in Vancouver on Oct. 12.

The walk was led by founder of the organization, Kevin Redsky, an Anishinaabe police sergeant personally impacted by youth mental health.

Serving as a call to action, the initiative encourages communities to come together in an effort to empower and support youth.

“I can’t even imagine the challenges youth are facing,” said Redsky.

“There are so many areas of concern with the lack of resources available. Hope in the Darkness is out here challenging leaderships, communities and organizations to bond and fill those gaps. Our youth deserve it.”

Joni Laberge, community programmer for the Sparwood Youth Action Network, and Sparwood local Jennifer King, reached out to Redsky to organize the walk through Sparwood.

“Awareness among adults for youth mental health needs to grow, because it’s up to us to support them,” said Laberge.

“These events show the kids that there are people in the community who care and are available, and it helps connect us to each other so we can form supportive networks while allowing dialogues to start.”

Over 30 residents came out to show their support, participating in the socially distant walk.

“A challenge to police officers is to give our youth a voice, a message of hope and empowerment that there is always light, and we need to keep that flame lit,” said Redsky.

To get involved with Hope in the Darkness, join an upcoming leg of the journey or stay up to date with updates via their website

The Fernie leg of the Hope in the Darkness walk will begin at 10 a.m. from Maiden Lake, with participants walking to Annex Park.

Contact for more information.

READ MORE: Fernie Youth Action Network engages teens during isolation

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Kevin Redsky is gifted Sparwood swag by mayor Dave Wilks. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Event organizers, Jennifer King, Kevin Redsky, Joni Laberge, and mayor Dave Wilks, stand alongside each other. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Sparwood local, Sawyer Decker, led the walk alongside Redsky. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Kevin Redsky and Sawyer lead the walk through Sparwood. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

A number of Sparwood residents came out to show their support for the walk. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

A number of Sparwood residents and first responders came out to show their support for the walk. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The group of walkers post for a photo at the Sparwood Skatepark. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

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