Candlelight will brighten Penn State York's campus Thursday in support of people who have been abused.

The school's Human Development and Family Studies Club will hold Candlelight Walk in Support of Child Abuse Prevention at 6 p.m. Thursday on campus at 1031 Edgecomb Ave. in Spring Garden Township.

People who plan to walk are asked to meet at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the school's Main Classroom Building.

Vigil participants will walk together -- in silence -- around the campus and return to the building, where they will be asked to sign a pledge to learn more about child abuse and immediately report suspicions of abuse to the proper authorities.

Those who sign the pledges will receive paper Nittany Lion paws to place on a lighted tree in the lobby. The tree will be on display through the remainder of the semester, according to a news release from the Human Development and Family Studies Club.

Origin: This is the club's second year organizing the candlelight walk. The club held one last year in response to the child sex abuse scandal that occurred at Penn State University's main campus in State College.

Jerry Sandusky, the university's former assistant football coach, was prosecuted this year and found guilty

on 45 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys. He must serve a minimum of 30 years in state prison.

"Last year (the club) made a strong commitment for advocacy regarding child abuse," said Michelle Cooper, a Penn State York student and club president. "In light of the Sandusky scandal, we felt it was more important than ever to include the community in this commitment."

More than 100 people attended last year's vigil.

The club -- which does various anti-abuse outreach activities throughout the year -- has decided to make the vigil an annual event as a public display of support for all victims of abuse, Cooper said.

"We feel that the vigil is not only a chance for all of us to renew our commitment to prevention of child abuse, but also an opportunity to help the number of Penn State and York County pledges grow," Cooper said.

Vigil

The Candlelight Walk in Support of Child Abuse Prevention begins at 6 p.m. Thursday outside the Main Classroom Building at Penn State York, 1031 Edgecomb Ave. in Spring Garden Township.

People who plan to walk are asked to meet at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the school's Main Classroom Building.

For information, call 771-4000.