Our heartfelt thanks to all who joined us for Prevent Suicide Columbia County’s 6th Annual Walk for Hope.  We had the most perfect day for our walk held on Saturday, September 22, 2018! 

Our 6th Annual Walk for Hope far exceeded our goals and expectations!  We had 198 registered participants this year which surpasses totals from past years.  Our combined efforts collected a total of $10,388.00!  Funds raised by and donated to Prevent Suicide Columbia County all stay LOCAL!  Funds are used to provide free QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training, provide free gun locks to the public, public information campaigns, on screen video ad shown at the Portage Movie Theatre before each movie, support group for survivors of suicide loss, crisis intervention trainings/mental health trainings for Columbia County mental health providers, law enforcement, and more. 

Thank you to each participant who walked laps, shared stories of hope, and offered each other strength and understanding. It’s so heartwarming to see the connections made between participants. 

In addition to our participants, we have many more thanks to give – to all of our Walk for Hope volunteers!  There is so much effort that goes into setting up, providing activities, and clean up - thank you for all of your help! Thank you to Portage Community Schools for being our host and assisting with set up and clean up – we are so fortunate to have a centralized location to provide our walk!  Thank you to our speaker, Sara Jesse, who delivered a powerful and emotional speech! Thank you to our walk musician Faith Gladem, our walk MC Clint Starks, QPR trainers Amy Cole and Barry Erath, all of our sponsors, education booths and anyone else we may have missed!  Without all of you, the Walk for Hope would not be successful!  Thank you all so much for your dedication to our vision, “a suicide-free community where people will recognize the warning signs, intervene, and help individuals find hope.”

The rates of suicide attempts and deaths are higher in our county than state averages.  We must all do our part to end the stigma that kills.  Attend a free training and learn how to ask a question and save a life.  Start the conversation about mental health with your loved ones.  Concerned about someone?  Text “HOPELINE” to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  Columbia County residents can call the 24-Hour Emergency Crisis Hotline at 1-888-552-6642 for mental health/AODA crisis. 

Suicide is preventable and suicide prevention is everyone’s business.  Make it yours.  Visit us on
Facebook or read more about Walk for Hope 2018 here! If you have any photos you would like to share with us, especially team photos, please send them to kristal.rykiel@co.columbia.wi.us.  I would love to post them on our Walk for Hope website!  


Kristal Rykiel RN, BSN

Columbia County Division of Health

Public Health Nurse

Prevent Suicide Columbia County Facilitator

Nathan Pieper

Family and Friends

Rascals and Rockers Dayschool

Faith Gladem


Walk for Hope 2018 Walking Teams!

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to the following people and organizations who sponsored and donated to our sixth annual Walk for Hope on September 22, 2018.  Click on the logos of sponsors below to be directed to their websites.  

Save the Date!  Walk for Hope 2019 - Saturday, September 28th, 2019 SAVE the date!

Portage Community Schools                           Crawford Oil                            Joann Alt - Garden of Angels                

Poynette School District                                  Lodi School District                  Fall River School District                       

Bethany Lutheran Church - Dells                    Columbus Fire Department      Compass Counseling                           

Aspen Family Counseling                                Blau Chiropractic                     Cambria-Friesland School District 

Lodi Chamber of Commerce                            Lodi EMS                                Pardeeville Piggly Wiggly 

                         Portage Chamber of Commerce                      Baraboo Chamber of Commerce                                  


Kris' Krusaders 

SSM Health Dean Medical Group Portage

Rio Vikings

Team Vorpahl

Team Polly 

Journey Mental Health Center

Turning Point Realty

In Loving Memory of Jonathan Hessler

Team Fischer 

Team Batman

Sara Tredinnick

In Memory of

Derek Wesley Bourdeau

​05/06/1984 - 07/11/1999

Walk for Hope 2018: Record turnout!

A special Thanks to our 2018 walk for hope sponsors AND dONORS!


THANK YOU to our teams who raised additional funds for Prevent Suicide Columbia County!

Our Top Fundraisers were:

SSM Health Dean Medical Group Portage $1325

Kris' Krusaders $397


Joanne Alt

Garden of Angels - Portage


Thank You to those allowing us to advertise our event with them!

Unit 401 Cambria

Walk for Hope 2018

Logo Design inspired by

Columbia County Public Health student nurse, Stephenie Foster.