Love is Louder: Topton Pool hosts anti-bullying event

Submitted photo by Marcus Dolny

Topton Memorial Pool staff sent a message of Love is Louder than anything else during an anti-bullying event prior to the start of school.

“Love is Louder is a movement to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voices that bring us down or cause us pain,” said Marcus Dolny, Topton Pool Aquatic Facilities Manager. “It’s about using our actions to help instead of hurt.”

Since the The Jed Foundation, MTV, and Brittany Snow launched Love is Louder in 2010, tens of thousands have added their voices and perspectives. On Aug. 23, Dolny and his staff wanted to bring the community of Topton together, and the surrounding area, to help them join the movement and “let their voices be heard!” said Dolny.

Pool staffhosted a Love is Louder Picture Party with music from Sound Advice.

“The Topton Memorial Pool hopes this event will bring awareness to some of the issue today’s youth struggle with, especially going back to school,” Dolny said.

This is the first year that the Topton Memorial Pool held this event, although Dolny has been a supporter of the Love is Louder movement for almost two years.

“When I found out it was possible to hold a community event to spread awareness, I jumped on the chance,” said Dolny.

The event was open to anyone. About 275 people attended.

“From toddlers to grandparents, we had all ages come out and support the cause and learn what Love is Louder is all about,” said Dolny.

For the Love is Louder Picture Party at the pool, staff explained what Love is Louder stood for and how anyone could get involved “just by being positive, supportive, and remembering Love is Louder than anything else.”

Then they asked people to write “Love is Louder” on their hands, arms, backs and take a photo to be sent to the Love is Louder website (www.loveislouder.com) to show their support.

“We had an outstanding response, head lifeguard Alysha Gieringer, with a little help from myself,was taking pictures and designing Love is Louder messages on the kids and adults for almost three hours,” said Dolny.

“So what was our message? Love is Louder is a movement to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voices that bring us down or cause us pain,” said Dolny. “It’s about using our actions to help instead of hurt. It’s about making our communities more accepting and supportive. It’s about expressing our emotions, speaking up when we are struggling, and taking actions to feel better. It’s about working individually and together to overpower the pain caused by bullying, discrimination, loneliness, loss, negative self-image, or depression.”

Dolny said that they want people to understand that whatever the reasons or circumstances, everyone has points in their life when they feel alone, defeated, or discouraged.

“Giving up is never the answer and we want people to know that it’s important to remember Love is Louder than anything and we need to adopt that belief and help spread it,” he said.“Bullying, intolerance, and discrimination are becoming major concerns not just with our youth but with society in general.”

Dolny and the pool staff hope that they reached and affected even a few members of the community.

“And inspired them to spread the Love is Louder message,” said Dolny. “The best part about Love is Louder is anyone can support it just by changing their behaviors:being a friend to the friendless, accepting something you might not understand, and most of all trying to find the positives in life and celebrate just that.”

For more information, visitwww.loveislouder.com or visit their facebook page, just search Love is Louder.

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