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In soldier's memory: Dozens gather in Wrightsville for butterfly release to benefit suicide prevention

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

Dozens of people recently gathered on the lawn at the John Wright Restaurant in Wrightsville to release butterflies during a fundraiser for suicide prevention. 

The second annual butterfly release,  held Sunday, was hosted by the Bartz Brigade, a nonprofit organization named in honor of Trent Bartz, a 20-year-old soldier who committed suicide Aug. 19, 2015. 

Attendees could purchase a butterfly to release, either in honor of a friend or loved one or just in support of  suicide prevention. 

This year, the organization gave out its first Trent Bartz Foundation Scholarship Awards. The recipients were Lauren Zavatsky, a Spring Grove graduate attending York College; Carsyn Meckley, a South Western  graduate attending McDaniel College; and Ansley Utter, a Kennard-Dale  graduate attending Alvernia University. 

Each student received a $1,200 scholarship.

Chuck Snyder of York prepares to release a butterfly during  a benefit for suicide prevention, Sunday, August 16, 2020 at John Wright Restaurant in  Wrightsville. This was the second annual butterfly release to benefit the Bartz Brigade, a community based nonprofit organization that is named after Trent Bartz, a 20-year-old soldier who committed suicide August 19, 2015.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The Bartz Brigade has several fundraising events coming up, including a special ruck  by Trent Bartz's friend, Dean Lloyd, who will be hiking 22 miles from Susquehannock High School to Eastern York High School on Sept. 13. Ruck marches are hikes carrying loaded backpacks, or rucksacks. Lloyd will stop at each 1 mile mark and complete 22 push-ups — in recognition of the number of  veterans who commit suicide each day in America. Lloyd will be completing the ruck wearing a bear costume. 

The Trent 2020 Ruck for Suicide Prevention will be held beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, starting at Veterans Memorial Gold Star Healing and Peace Garden at 1000 Vander Ave. in York. The ruck-run-walk event will feature food, music, vendors, awards and speakers, including keynote speaker, District Attorney Dave Sunday. The walk, which begins and ends at the garden, goes to Continental Square in downtown York. The fundraiser will also include a timed 5K run and a ruck with designated workouts along the way, according to the event Facebook page.  Register at  www.bartzbrigade.eventbrite.com.

For more information visit www.bartzbrigade.com