By Heather Regula, Correspondent
The inaugural Adopt-A-County-Road In Memory of Christopher Wenger litter clean-up, hosted by Janet Sutton, took place on Saturday, Feb. 17. The Adopt-A-County-Road Program was approved by the Bell County Commissioners’ Court in August 2017. The program involves a selection of a two-mile stretch of road, a two-year commitment, and four organized clean-ups a year.
Family, friends, and Bell County Work Release Program participants gathered at the intersection of Moffat Road and Kuykendall Mountain Road for the litter clean-up.
The Bell County Commissioner, Precinct 3, Bill Schumann conducted a safety brief before the event started.
“This is the first trash pick-up that the county has planned. We provide the signage, traffic control support, trash bag pick-up, trash bags, gloves, and vests – we support the citizens who are out here making this program happen,” explained Schumann. “Work-release is helping with the trash clean-up as well.”
Participants picked up litter, on both sides of the two-mile stretch of Moffat Road.
Jeff Corrigan works with Janet Sutton at a middle school in Killeen.
“I want to be supportive of Janet, what she is doing and the love she has for her son. So I am out here today as a symbol of support,” said Corrigan.
Christopher Wenger committed suicide, at the age of 14, in 2014.
“If you’re going to commit to something, you have to take action. That’s what today is about – taking action. I always told Christopher to be the better person, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m a middle school teacher, and I didn’t see the signs of suicidal thoughts in my son. After his death, I started getting educated about suicide awareness and prevention,” stated Sutton.
Karen Wall attended the clean-up with her sons, Robert and Elliott.
“The boys’ dad killed himself a year after Christopher did – Janet has helped me a lot. We are happy to be able to participate today – the more awareness we can bring to suicide, the better,” said Wall.
Sutton is the co-founder and President of Hope (Hold On, Pain Ends) Happens, a non-profit organization, established in 2016, that works to raise awareness about suicide and the prevention of it. She is also on the Board of Directors for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Central Texas Chapter. More information about Hope Happens can be found on Facebook @HopeHappensTX or online at www.hopehappenshere.org/what-we-do/.