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Las Positas College to host fourth annual '2.2 for 22 Challenge'

The '2.2 for 22 Challenge' is one of the LPC Veterans First Program's signature events, which aims to raise awareness about the average 22 veteran suicides per day in the U.S.
Some of the 2.2 for 22 challenges have included completing 22 jumping jacks, meditating for two minutes and completing 22 push-ups, among other activities.

Las Positas College (LPC) Foundation and the LPC Veterans First Program are hosting their fourth annual "2.2 for 22 Challenge," which aims to raise awareness about the average 22 veteran suicides per day in the U.S.

The event is being held virtually for the second year in a row due to COVID-19 restrictions. "The decision to keep the event virtual was to ensure the safety of our participants, staff, volunteers and community supporters in these unprecedented times," organizers wrote on the event website.

In past years, the challenge consisted of a 2.2 mile walk and other activities for a one-day event on the LPC campus. Now, 2.2 for 22 spans over 22 days and participants receive a new challenge to complete each day with a video demonstration of each activity.

This year's challenge kicks off on Saturday (Oct. 23) and runs through Nov. 13. 

"It's easy to say, 'thank you for your service' -- we get it all the time -- but to put that to action inspires me as a veteran," said Ron Payne, a former Army combat medic who attended LPC and helps organize 2.2 for 22. "It shows you're putting yourself in our shoes and that you care about an issue that's sensitive to veterans," he added.

Some of the activities are physical, while others focus on connection and mindfulness to foster community and improve mental health, organizers said in a statement. Some of the previous challenges have included completing 22 jumping jacks, two-minute meditation, 22 push-ups, smiling or laughing for 22 seconds and journaling for two minutes twice a week, among other activities.

Organizers said they encourage participants to modify the physical challenges based on their own abilities. People can join the challenge in teams or individually.

"It's all about bringing hope that one day the number will be zero," Payne said of the event and its mission to help eradicate suicide among veterans. "We're going to do our part to keep putting the word out until it is zero," he added.

Last year, nearly 500 people participated in the 2.2 for 22 Challenge and organizers said that while they hope to exceed that number this year, they are grateful to any and all who take part in the challenge, whether for the entire 22 days or some portion of it.

"Whether we have one or 1,000 -- whatever it may be -- we're just excited to continue this as one of our signature programs that we do," said LPC Veterans First supervisor Todd Steffan.

Steffan also said that although they hope to bring the event back in-person next year, they will likely continue offering the option to participate virtually for people in other states and abroad who want to join.

LPC will host an end-of-event drive-through celebration on Nov. 13 to recognize those who completed the 22-day challenge. Funds raised by the event will support mental health services and programs for LPC student veterans. Veteran support services at LPC include priority registration, scholarships, a work-study program, financial resources and more, organizers said.

More information and event registration can be found here.



Cierra Bailey

About the Author: Cierra Bailey

Cierra is a Livermore native who started her journalism career after college as an editorial intern with the Pleasanton Weekly in 2014. After attending graduate school at Syracuse University, she’s back as the editor of the Vine!
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