Volunteer excited for walk's bright, colorful new look

May flowers aren't the only things adding a splash of color to the Hinsdale landscape in the coming weeks. The Community House's annual Walk the Walk event will become a color walk when it returns for its 15th year on Sunday, May 15.

"Walkers will be showered with different colors of powder," said Karin Rohn, a member of The Community House board and the Walk the Walk committee. Four color stations will be located along the 1-mile route, offering participants ample opportunity to collect color along the way.

Rohn said the color stations add a little something extra to the walk, which is intended to raise money for The Community House's mental health services, as well as awareness of the need for mental health support. The Community House's counseling center offers help to all, regardless of their ability to pay. Money from walk will help to continue those services, which Rohn said might be needed now more than ever.

"A lot of people have faced a lot of stress and anxiety," Rohn said, speaking of the worry, isolation and loss experienced due to the pandemic. "The statistics are staggering."

While raising money to support mental health services, Rohn said the walk also serves as a reminder that the need for support should not come with a stigma.

"It's a great way to show that mental health is something we can talk about and that we can support," she said.

Walk the Walk is also a great way to enjoy a spring morning in the company of neighbors and friends. The one-mile walk is accessible to all, Rohn said, including babies in strollers and folks using wheelchairs. She encourages everyone to wear white in order to properly display the colors collected along the way. Sunglasses are a good idea too, she said. (Turn to Page 30 for registration information.)

Walkers are encouraged to collect pledges from family and friends prior to the event. Afterward, walkers are invited back to The Community House to enjoy food trucks, vendor tables and fun activities for all ages.

A second-year member of The Community House Board, Rohn's relationship with the nonprofit began many years ago.

"It's a great resource for us and for the community," said Rohn, whose children participated in basketball, cooking classes, preschool and other programs throughout their childhoods. Rohn said that as a young mother, she would peruse The Community House program guide to find new experiences for her family.

"It always contains new ways to get out, meet people and learn new things," she said.

Rohn said she volunteered at the last Walk the Walk not as a member of the board, but as a representative of the National Charity League's local chapter in which she participates with her daughter, Peyton. The philanthropic organization brings mothers and daughters together to serve their communities. The Community House is one of several local beneficiaries.

This year, Rohn will step off with hundreds of other walkers as a Community House board member, mental health advocate and proud Hinsdalean.

- story by Sandy Illian Bosch, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean