HANCOCK COUNTY — The Hancock County Public Library continues its “Ready, set, read!” summer reading program with a demonstration from Chris “Lights Out” Lytle.
Lytle, 41, is a retired mixed martial artist and wrestler. An Indianapolis native, Lytle will put on demonstrations of wrestling and mixed martial arts Friday at the Greenfield and Sugar Creek branches of the library. In addition, Lytle will discuss his anti-bullying initiative and his children’s book, “Lights Out on Bullying.”
Before he retired, Lytle was an “Ultimate Fighting Championship” competitor known as a knock-down, drag-out fighter, according to a news release from the Hancock County Public Library.
Lytle has a son with autism, and wrote his book to help his son have tools against bullying, the Redemption Martial Arts website says.
Lytle was bullied himself as a youngster, and that also led him to write the book, which also helps readers realize if they are bullies and how to change their behavior, said Kitty Riley, communications manager at Hancock County Public Library.
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial artist created the Chris Lytle Foundation, which fights for change through awareness, particularly about the issues of autism, suicide, bullying, domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, according to the foundation website.
The library events aren’t the first time Lytle has stepped up in the Hancock County community. Last spring, organizers from the Chris Lytle Foundation and New Pal Moms put together an anti-bullying fundraiser at Sugar Creek Township Fire Station 45, where Lytle was on hand to meet with fans.
The goal was to raise money to purchase hundreds of copies of Lytle’s book, which were then distributed to Southern Hancock County elementary schools. The event included a silent auction, raffle and a reading by Lytle.
Lytle is an Indianapolis firefighter and father of four in New Palestine. He said he’s seen firsthand how bullying can impact a life in a negative way.
While he’s given countless speeches against bullying, the message from those can be short-lived, he told the Daily Reporter in 2015. A book is something kids can go back to again and again for guidance, he said.
1 to 2 p.m. Friday at Greenfield branch location, 900 W. McKenzie Road, Greenfield
Sign up for this free event at hcplibrary.org or call (317) 462-5141, ext. 238.
New Palestine event:
2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Friday at Sugar Creek branch location, 5087 W. U.S. 52, New Palestine
Free tickets will be available at the youth desk 30 minutes before show time. Space is limited.