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Stars of Hope, Sky Lantern Festival

Sky Lanterns give new meaning to HOPE ... Helping Others through Positive Emotion. What gives you HOPE????

H - helping 

O - others through

P - positive

E - emotion

Hope (noun) A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

Close your eyes real tight, what do you see? All black? Most do. Now close your eyes while standing in front of the window or door. Sure you may look silly, but now what do you see? Darkness with bursts of light that seem shift and fade the longer you keep them closed. Now put yourself on a football field, with others by you bursting with each and every emotion possible, only this time your eyes are open and you are looking up. Up into the night sky, what you are seeing are sky lanterns. Each represent a different story, a past being let go of, or maybe the balls of fire are symbols of HOPE. 

On Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. people from all over are meeting at the Yorkville High School football field. SPS ( Suicide Prevention Services) is hosting this beautiful event. The best part is that yes, everyone will be launching these lanterns BUT each lantern holds a different meaning. This is my HOPE:

2 years ago I found my brother dead in my house. 2 years ago I became lost, therefore my HOPE was lost as well. The only thing I could think of was to go and be with my brother. These thoughts triggered my safe zone still somewhat active, and I ran.

I ran to Jen Slepicka. Deep inside I remembered her mom ran SPS, The only HOPE I could grasp onto was now in the hands of Jen. Her simple words and over abundance of HOPE was enough to save me. It was soon after then I was able to confront my issues the only way I knew how... Help where I can with SPS. You will never know how much a few simple kind words can make a huge difference in someone's life. You just may save one. When I launch this lantern with my children, I will express how HOPE is so important. We will learn stories of why others are there, we will remember why at that time we met how we did, for there is a reason that everything happens. My children will learn why we are a part of such a beautiful organization later in life when they can understand. For now they will make friends with others that relate somehow in their life. 

2 weeks ago was Suicide Prevention Day. My oldest Jared wrote with marker across his wrist LOVE. I have never been more proud of my child. At 12 he is making a difference, even if he doesn't see that right away. I mentioned to Jen how fun it would be to have a place to write hope on the wrists of the people attending the Stars of Hope Sky Lantern Festival. Once again her simple words brought tears to my eyes "Brooke, make a booth. It's all yours."  

Holy cow, I get to be a part of this event!!! Not only be blessed launching lanterns with such amazing people, but I get to first hand hear each and every story from the people who come by. Be presented by the innocence of the children coming by my booth. Just as simple as a precious child, We will be using washable markers writing love across/down the wrist. SUPER FUN!

Whats your HOPE? Jen was my last bit of HOPE. That last bit multiplied by a million. When you see someone not looking as happy as you think they should, say something simple... "I HOPE you have the best day possible today." A simple thank you or hold the door open for a frustrated mom pushing a stroller. You never know, maybe instead of her bursting into tears in the car, she may do something nice, giving someone else HOPE. It's free, not difficult and there is a a huge reward ... Your heart smiles and you just may have a saved a life.

Please attend this amazing event. All proceeds go to Suicide Prevention Services of America. The lanterns you can purchase on-line (link here) or even at the gate. Admission is free, donations are appreciated but please know there's no pressure. Special treats for kids. Whoever buys a lantern will launch on the field. The stands will be open for onlookers. Plenty of parking at the school, library and City Hall.

When you close your eyes what is it you see? Where are you? What gives you HOPE? Come share your stories. Stop by the 17 Stars of HOPE booth and let me know what you see. Can't wait to see you there!!! A little bit of positive emotion can change the world. It will save a life!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susan La Veau September 28, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Beautifully said. I'm so proud to be attending and volunteering at this event for the first time. Its going to be a wonderdul experience for us all.
Jen Slepicka September 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Amazing blog as always! You have many gifts. One is your inner strength to find the good in every situation. Another is your loyalty. A third is your compassion. A fourth is your amazing gift of making people feel beautiful. I am so excited for you to share this gift at Stars of Hope! To be able to sit with someone, if only for a moment, and have them feel comfortable and beautiful. Happy Birthday Brooke (September 28th)!!! I love you!
Cara M September 28, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Amazing, Brooke... Jen is so right, you just have a WAY of making others feel good, even beautiful, about themselves. I couldn't think of one person better for this event than you. Even at the funeral, where we officially met for the first time, I felt so close to you. Your words about your brother made me feel as though we shared the same memories. I will never forget. I am so proud of what you have done, and what I'm sure you will continue to do. I'm so glad I have you as a friend. Happy Birthday today, I KNOW you will have a great one:) Love you, Cara
Beth Osborn Martin-Mol September 28, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I am so proud of you - such beautiful words! Have a wonderful birthday! Love you!
Brooke Elizabeth October 02, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I still find this all overwhelming. The love filled words are more than I could ever ask for in friends, true friends. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart and every ounce of my soul. This event will be life changing... most importantly life saving.

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