Students attend day-long Life Quest Program at GCC


Alissa Pietila/Daily Globe

LOCAL STUDENTS fill the bleachers at Gogebic Community College on Monday. A Life Quest Program was held for the students to teach them about anti-bullying and suicide prevention.

IRONWOOD - Area high school students gathered in the gymnasium of Gogebic Community College's Lindquist Center for a Life Quest Program on Monday.

The event was not open to the general public due to a lack of space, as witnessed by the bleachers filled with students.

The Department of Human Services, DOVE, Inc., the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, Community Mental Health and others had booths for the students to browse and attain more information about what is available in the community.

Police officers from the Michigan State Police, Gogebic County Sheriff's Department and Ironwood Public Safety Department also attended the event.

The event opened with words from Peter Gallinagh. Hayden Loven ("You Have Value") and Tim Lynott ("The Effects of Suicide on Families") both did presentations before the lunch intermission.

Students and attending faculty were treated to a meal of sub sandwiches, chips and refreshments. During lunch, students names were drawn to receive gift cards and prizes from local businesses.

"We live in a great community, don't we?" one announcer asked. Many students shouted "Yes" in response.

Right after lunch, a relay race was held. One of the announcers described what each aspect of the race stood for.

The boots stood for a solid career and books represented the importance of knowledge and studies.

"If you apply yourself, you can do it," the announcer said.

A sports jersey represented after-school activities and sports teams students take part in. A backpack represented everything else the students take on in daily life.

At the end, a student stood to represent "those times when we must carry others," the announcer said.

Students from each school took part, each individual racing from the starting point to the items in order of how they were placed on the floor.

Those who went first put on the boots, the second individual grabbed the books and so on. The final person gave the student standing at the end a piggy-back ride.

The students from Wakefield-Marenisco won the race by a slim margin.

After the relay race, Holocaust survivor Peter Loth spoke about having hope in the face of adversity in his talk entitled "There is Good in the Midst of Evil."

"There is hope. There is hope," Loth repeated near the beginning of his presentation.

At Monday night's Bessemer area school board meeting, Principal Dan Vander Velden said Loth spoke about all the adversitites he'd faced.

He said Loth's message was basically, "Through all this evil I've witnessed in my life, I've always been able to find goodness."

Vander Velden said he was happy with how the program went.

Pastor Todd Winkler was chosen to close the program.


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