‘Nov. 9, it’s an important day’
By Maureen Robertson
Nine years ago Kristina Krohne’s nephew, a 14-year-old Ramona High School student, committed suicide.
Since then, she’s taken the lead in suicide prevention campaigns and was a driving force in establishing the Ramona Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Walk for Life five years ago.
“That’s where my passion comes from,” she told Ramona Unified School District trustees at their October meeting.
During a recent school board meeting, Kristina Krohne, Sun Valley Council PTA president and an organizer of the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Walk for Life, hands Mischa Dobrotin a yellow wristband as an invitation to participate in the walk on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson
“As you all know, we did lose another student last year to suicide.” That student was an eighth-grader at Olive Peirce Middle School.
The 5th Annual Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Walk for Life will be at the Ramona High School football field on Hanson Lane on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. Each year the community event has grown, Krohne said, thanking the district for its support.
“This year we’re really excited,” she said, telling trustees that three rock bands will perform, several high school groups will participate, and Fitness Xpress will offer Zumba instruction. Miss Junior Teen California Olivia Jensen, a Ramona resident, will sing, and Ramona High’s Art Guild will be in charge of face painting.
A luminary memorial is planned. Walkers will have an opportunity to decorate bags with written messages or drawings. The tea light bags will light the football field at the walk's conclusion at sunset.
Door prize drawings will be held during the free event, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.
“Everyone in the community is invited,” Krohne said, noting that OPMS counselor Michelle Mauney, Trustee Kim Lasley, Palomar Health, and several mental health agencies have been involved from the beginning.
Resources for children and for adults will be available. Among organizations providing information will be McAlister Institute, Aurora Behavioral Health, North County Health Services, North Inland Community Prevention Program, Vista Hill SmartCare, the sheriff’s Ramona station, and Ramona Fire Department.
“Suicide is a big deal to me,” said Sonny Adams, a mechanic for the school district and the district's Classified Employee of the Year. “It’s a big thing with kids, but it’s also adults."
He applauded the high school for honoring cancer survivors at the Oct. 18 football game, saying five friends have died of cancer in the past five years.
“But over the years, I’ve lost more friends to suicide than to cancer,” he said. “The last friend that died is not quite a year ago, and this (Walk for Life) event is a big event. It’s huge. It means a lot to a lot of people...So thank you to Ramona High School for doing this. Nov. 9, it’s an important day.”