Kappa Delta Rho supporting suicide awareness

Madison Weaver, Senior Writer

In memory of Peyton Rumachik ’18, a brother of the Kappa Delta Rho (KDR) fraternity at the University who lost his life to suicide this past June, the brothers of KDR participated in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Harrisburg Pa. on Sept. 8.

Members of the fraternity were deeply saddened by the loss of Rumachik and wanted to support both Rumachik’s family and suicide awareness. The brothers participated as part of “PeytonItForward,” a movement inspired by Rumachik and his belief in “‘paying it forward’ and extending kindness and love to all individuals,” according to a Facebook post by his family.

Forty-four brothers participated in the Harrisburg Community Walk, which raised over $99,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

“Seeing everyone there to support Peyton’s family and each other was such a meaningful experience. All the brothers dropped their plans to attend the walk, which is what Peyton did so many times for each one of us if we needed someone to talk to. So many people are united by this cause, and to walk together made everyone feel like we are not alone in our feelings,” Matt Geiger ’19 said.

The weekend was an opportunity to reflect on Rumachik’s life and the legacy he left, as well as bond as a fraternity following the loss.

“Peyton was one of the most positive influences I’ve ever had in my life, and I know he meant a lot to everyone in KDR. I think a lot of us had been looking for a way to come together and remember him, and the walk in Harrisburg gave us that. It was powerful to see so thousands of people come together for a good and important cause,” Adit Acharya ’19 said.

For those closest to Rumachik, the walk was especially poignant.

“Peyton was one of my best friends. Everyone in KDR thought highly of him. The walk meant a lot to me and to all the brothers in KDR, as well as his parents. We were happy to see so many people out at the Harrisburg walk and happy to see all the support from the community,” Connor Swaim ’19 said.

Hundreds of thousands of people participate in Out of the Darkness Community Walks in cities across the United States to raise awareness and funds to help the AFSP in their efforts to prevent suicide through research, educational programs, and support for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.

“I think the event helped some of our brothers find closure, and our support clearly had a strong impact on Peyton’s parents. I’m really proud of the fraternity for spending their Saturday at the walk, especially all of our new members who may not have known Peyton but still recognized how important he is to KDR. He represents everything KDR is about; he cared for his brothers, was outgoing on campus, and made everyone around him feel special. We are working to make sure he always holds a presence in our fraternity and I hope attending the walk becomes an annual tradition. I encourage everyone to go, whether or not you know somebody personally you lost to suicide. It means the world to the people most affected by it to know they the have support of both friends and strangers,” Jake Rubin ’19, the President of KDR, said.

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