Peru State Cheerleaders Participate in Suicide Prevention Walk

Peru State Cheerleaders Participate in Suicide Prevention Walk
Former pageant queens joined the Bobcat cheer team in the suicide prevention walk. (Courtesy Photo)

OMAHA – Members of the Peru State cheerleading team participated in the 14th annual Omaha “Out of the Darkness Walk” on Sunday, Sept. 9. The Walk was sponsored by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

The cheer team was joined by other Peru State students, parents, and friends. The team walked in honor of former teammate, Kaelia Nelson. The group joined 3,092 participants whose goal was to raise awareness, give people the courage to open up about their own struggle or loss, and to provide the platform to change our culture’s approach to mental health.

During the walk, the Peru State team was approached by current and past pageant queens who recognized the team’s “Stomping the Stigma” t-shirts. The pageant participants were also walking in honor of Kaelia as she had been heavily involved in pageants. The two groups joined together and walked the 3.1 mile walk as one group.

Among other activities during the event included posting items on the Memory Wall where the Peru State team posted Kaelia’s picture and share memories on hearts. In addition, the cheer team performed their stunt entitled “The Rig” which was named by Nelson last fall as she was the top girl. The Bobcat cheer team now does the stunt in her honor with co-captain Dayana Camacho (Schuyler) at the top and waving to her teammate each time the stunt is performed.

The annual walk helps to kick off National Suicide Prevention Week and took place at the Lewis and Clark Landing near the riverfront. September 10-16 is National Suicide Prevention Week. For more information, please visit