BY MARY WICOFF
Sometimes, people working in the nursing profession don’t receive the recognition they deserve.
A group of seniors at Lakeview College of Nursing wants to change that with “Lighting the Way: An Evening of Honor.” The event will start at 6 p.m. Monday at Lincoln Park, with a short march starting around 6:30 p.m.
“We really encourage all nurses in the community to come out and march, or if you know a nurse or someone affected by a nurse,” student Erin Nicholson of Catlin said. “We really want people to come out.”
The walk — from the parking lot to the bandstand — is open to everyone, not just nurses.
She didn’t have an exact figure, but Nicholson noted there are a lot of nurses in the area, considering there are three medical centers in the county, two nursing schools and numerous doctors’ offices.
Other students involved in the project are Tiffany Hartke of Champaign, Kimberly Lindsay of Indianapolis and Krystal Melcarek of Mukwonago, Wis.
To honor the nursing profession, luminaries will be sold and displayed on a path during “The Walk of Honor” through Lincoln Park.
Luminaries may be purchased for $5 at the school on Monday or in the park that evening. The paper bags, with candles inside, can be personalized with the honoree’s name or with a personal message to let the person know how much he or she is appreciated.
Some of the luminaries already purchased honor nursing students, and carry words of encouragement. Persons may purchase a luminary in memory of a deceased nurse.
The Lakeview students will write the honored person’s name and the message on each bag.
Money collected from sale of the luminaries will go to scholarships — one to a current nursing student at Danville Area Community College and one to a student at Lakeview College of Nursing. The scholarship winners will be announced Monday night, and the money will be applied to the student’s account for the following semester.
Nicholson said the students hope to present $500 scholarships to each winner.
After the walk, Eunice Mumm, president of the Lakeview College of Nursing Alumni Association, will speak about the nursing profession.
The walk is part of the students’ legacy project — a senior course requirement designed to leave a legacy to the local community.
Nicholson said they wanted to recognize not only current nurses, but past nurses who have made a difference in the profession. “Sometimes the nursing profession goes unrecognized, and the purpose of this event is to include all those who have impacted the lives of those they serve,” she said.
They got the idea from a nurses’ walk that took place in the 1940s and ’50s in Chicago to promote the profession. That walk was only six blocks long, Nicholson said, citing the priest who started it: “Nurses spend enough time on their feet and they don’t need to spend any more.”
Therefore, the walk at Lincoln Park on Monday night will be short — just from the parking lot to the bandstand.
Nicholson also hopes other Lakeview students will carry on this project in the future.
Those interested may purchase a luminary for $5 at Lakeview College of Nursing, 903 N. Logan Ave., during the day on Monday, or at 6 p.m. Monday before the walk starts.
For more information, call Lakeview at 709-0920.