The Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation is hosting its third Paducah Kindness Color Walk at 9am on Saturday, August 5, at Noble Park's Greenway Trail. Registration opens at 8am.
“The goal is to bring not only our community together, but also students, parents, teachers, coaches, ministers, police, friends, neighbors and business leaders from communities around the region,” said 14 year old co-founder Morgan Guess. “We are focused on creating a fun event to start the school year off with a focus on kindness. It is about building friendships and opening a discussion about how kindness can lead the way to a better school culture and stronger communities.”
A Kindness Wall will be available for participants to post positive messages. Participants will be covered in color throughout the walk and a group color throw will end the event. Kind messages will be visible throughout the trail.
A yoga class will start at 8 a.m. on the park lawn (bring your mat). Cheerleaders from around the region and the PTHS drumline will lead the start of the walk. Electric 96.9 will be playing music, the Paducah Bank Wow! Wagon will have free ice cream, and Banks Grocery will provide water. Texas Roadhouse will have a station with tea, lemonade and water along the trail and the KIND Company has donated 500 protein bars. The Guesses are working on a few more surprises as well.
Registration is $20 and includes a t-shirt for all participants who register by July 25. Shirts will be available for walk-up registrations on August 5 while supplies last. The registration form can be found at guessantibullying.com. Updates to the walk can be found on the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation Facebook page.
The Foundation has already secured support from Baptist Health Paducah, Four Rivers Behavioral Health, Murray State University, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, McCracken County Schools, Paducah Public Schools, Computer Services Inc. (CSI), Lourdes Hospital, Lundberg Medical, Wal-Mart, and Paducah Life. Bristol Broadcasting is the official media sponsor. Sponsors are still needed to cover the registration fees for athletes representing their schools at this event. Guess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270.210.2434.
Morgan and her mother, Susan Guess, founded the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation in 2012 as a result of Morgan’s personal experience with bullying. Since then, the duo have sponsored authors, filmmakers, and speakers at local schools. They successfully lobbied the legislature for a bill to formally define bullying in Kentucky. Governor Matt Bevin signed the bill into law in April of 2016 and the definitional will impact all 1,233 public schools and 640,000 Kentucky students.
Susan Guess is excited about the positive difference the Foundation has been able to make because of the support of so many people and businesses. While the conversation is different than it was while Morgan experienced bullying, there is more to do.
They continue to receive calls from parents and students about bullying - and about the depression and self-harming that can follow when the bullying goes unheard. Bullying happens one act at a time and so does kindness. Susan & Morgan Guess believe a focus on kindness is a positive and tangible way every member of our communities can make a difference on this important issue.