Bellaire High School races for suicide prevention

BELLAIRE — The inaugural Steps Against Suicide Walk and Run was held Friday afternoon with many area residents taking part.

The event featured a banner where attendees were able to write the names of loved ones who died of suicide. To register for the race, participants made a $10 donation and received a T-shirt to commemorate the event.

Bellaire High School started a new group called Sources of Strength in the 2023-24 school year. The group focuses on a wellness wheel that has strengths such as healthy activities, spirituality, positive mentors and generosity. The students work on those objectives listed on the wellness wheel all throughout the school year. They do that by offering programming and campaigns, such as organizing the race.

Spanish teacher and teacher liaison to student services Rebecca Difabrizio said,

“The students had a Mental Heath Awareness Week, back in December and now they chose now to have the Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk.”

She added that due to the response from the community, the group plans on making the Steps Against Suicide Walk and Run an annual event.

The race followed a 1.2-mile loop around downtown Bellaire, starting and finishing at Union Park next to Bellaire High School. The first-place winner was Jayden Martin, with Shaina Thornton receiving second place and Dr. Amanda Fisher, Belmont County’s coroner, in third place.

Plaques given to the winners were made by Dane D’Aquila. D’Aquila is a student at Bellaire High School who made the awards for no cost due to donations of materials.

Local food truck So Nuts 4 Donuts was on hand offering doughnuts to race participants and spectators alike. Opened in 2021, So Nuts 4 Donuts is owned and operated by Wheeling resident Jake Nelson.

“It started as a necessity plan at the tail end of COVID to figure out with everything closing what can we start,” Nelson said while speaking on the formation of the mobile doughnut shop.

“It was nice but it was a good time to turn and do something different because it’s a world of difference but it’s been very rewarding in many different ways,” Nelson, whose background before the food truck was as an engineer in the coal industry, said of Friday’s event.

So Nuts 4 Donuts is at WesBanco Arena for all scheduled events as well as all over the Ohio Valley.

“The best way to catch me would be looking at the calendar on our website,” Nelson said.


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