People were encouraged to wear pink and gather at the Home Hardware on Starrs Road for a short walk to Shopper’s Drug Mart and back. There is no fee to take part.
The walk was started as a way to raise awareness about the issue of bullying. The event is never about distance of the walk, but rather the road organizers hope people will travel on in the future – this being a society without bullying.
Yarmouth resident Jeanne Doucette is the original organizer of this event. She says standing up against bullying is still an important message.
“I am always nervous that no one will show and every year my heart is warmed to see that people still come, some year after year, to walk with us,” she says. “We still need awareness because bullying is still going on. It goes on at school, at work and many other places, as well as on the Internet because people can hide while doing it. I would love to see a huge crowd again but as I told my son six years ago, even if I have to walk it alone I still will.”
The Yarmouth event coincides with Anti-Bullying Day, or Pink Day as it is commonly known, which is recognized by the province the second Thursday of every September. On this day schools encourage students to wear pink and hold activities aimed at spreading the anti-bullying message.
It’s been 10 years since Central Kings high school students David Shepherd and Travis Price created a pink tide of support against bullying. When a Grade 9 student at their school had been picked on for wearing a pink polo shirt on his first day of school, the two Grade 12 students went to a discount store and bought 50 pink shirts for students to wear to school the next day. Students also dug through their own closets and came to school wearing pink.
In a recent social media post Travis Price wrote: "Ten years ago the way the world looked at bullying changed. A small act of kindness, now known as Pink Day, has become part of not only Canadian history, but has created change on a global level. My life has changed a lot in 10 years, just like the movement. But the one thing that has stayed the same is my passion to make the world a little bit better . . . Go out there and be someone’s hero, you might just change the world.”