Everyday hero: Alyssa StadtlerThis fall, when Hastings was hit hard by a number of tragedies, a walk was planned to benefit an organization that provides suicide education and raises awareness.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
This fall, when Hastings was hit hard by a number of tragedies, a walk was planned to benefit an organization that provides suicide education and raises awareness.
The walk was planned by someone living 90 miles away in Winona. That person was 2012 Hastings High School graduate Alyssa Stadtler.
Her desire to help didn’t take long to materialize. In about 10 days’ time, she planned the event and pulled it off. It ended up raising just more than $8,000 for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.
“I just wanted to do something,” Stadtler said. “I thought it could help somebody. That’s why I decided to do it. It was definitely worth it.”
The walk went so well that it has completely impacted Stadtler’s life. In the fall she had enrolled at Winona State University, where she was a pre-med major.
The event planning for the walk was such a rush that Stadtler realized it was her calling. She enrolled this January at Dakota County Technical College, where she is now majoring in business marketing and marketing design, and she hopes to land an event planning position with a non-profit.
“I’d like to work with SAVE, or an organization similar to it,” she said. “I like doing it and it helps people. I like how what we did affected other people.”
“There was one girl who came up to me crying and said this changed everything about her life. She said she came there with no friends and left with people who want to help left and right. That’s all it took for me to change (my major).”
The day of the walk was filled with great moments for Stadtler and those who helped her.
“After the walk, we just stayed at the Legion and cleaned up a little bit,” Stadtler said. “It was actually pretty amazing, the reaction that some people had. They never thought that a complete stranger would look them in the eye and say that if they needed someone, ‘I’ll be there for you.’
“That was something that made me happy. Initially, that was the goal – just to get the community together so they could set up a support system.”
Stadtler was nominated by a friend, Brittney Kabat.
“(Alyssa) … has done so much in Hastings to help the high school kids deal with the devastation going on around them,” Kabat said. “She is 19 years old, going to college full time, organizing huge events and trying to live the life or a normal college girl. For as long as I’ve known Alyssa she has been one of the most hardworking, caring people I’ve ever met. She organized the … walk in the middle of the night after losing so many friends this past year to suicide. She spent hours upon hours doing anything she could to organize the walk in her dorm room while attending her first year of college, and working multiple jobs.
“I’ve also noticed the constant posts she makes on Facebook to younger girls at the high school. She tells them they matter, and posts uplifting quotes for them to read. Even though Alyssa is quite a few years younger than me, I think she’s a huge inspiration to the community.”
Stadtler is the daughter of Kim Stadtler of Hastings.
She is now planning a bike-a-thon with SAVE, which is set for sometime in August.
“We’re starting a little earlier than two weeks ahead,” Stadtler said. “That will be a little easier for us.”