Published at PO Box 96 124 W. St. Clair Romeo, MI 48065. Phone: (586)752-3524 Fax: (586)752-0548
Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 07/11/12
SUPPORTING FAMILIES. Above, from left, Diana Lewno of Washington Township and Stacey Peake of Bruce Township will take part in the Compassionate Friends' "Walk to Remember" on Sunday, July 22 at the Romeo-Washington-Bruce Parks and Recreation Center on Morton Street. The event benefits the Troy Chapter of Compassionate Friends, which supports families and parents that have lost a child. Lewno lost her child, Ashley, 10 years ago, while Peake lost her son, Kyle, five years ago.
(Observer photo by Chris Gray)
Area's first-ever 'Walk to
Remember' to be held July 22
by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
The Compassionate Friends are asking residents to join them in supporting families that have experienced the death of a child.
The inaugural "Walk to Remember" event will take place from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Romeo-Washington-Bruce Community Center on Morton Street.
The event is hosted by and will benefit the Troy Chapter of the Compassionate Friends.
Diana Lewno, a Washington Township resident and volunteer, is helping spearhead the event. She said it is a way of helping others honor the loss of their children as well as bringing awareness to the support group.
"I admire those that have dealt with their grief in a positive way by helping others in honor of their child," she said.
She said there have been 80 confirmed walkers so far, and aims to have 150 by the time the event rolls around.
"The Romeo-Washington area is a great example of community support," Lewno said.
The two-mile walk will correspond with the National Conference Walk, held this year in California. Local chapters are encouraged to have their own events if they can't make it to the national walk.
Unfortunately, the greater Romeo area has experienced its share of losses. Those such as Mitch Lee, Jamie Gillespie, Kyle Peake, Rachel Ring, Stanley Babinski, Chelsea Pascoe, Stephen Malburg, Jenna Balabuch, Alex Gentry and Ally Zimmerman are not far from the minds of residents.
Lewno lost her daughter, Ashley, a decade ago. She will wear her daughter's shoes and a hat decorated with ribbons in memory of her and other children during the walk.
"It just seemed fitting to have the walk in Romeo, with the loss of so many kids in our community the past several years," Lewno said.
Although it is a sad subject, Lewno said the event will provide a positive, uplifting atmosphere that helps people who are enduring grief to socialize and laugh again.
"It shows there is a way through the grief and there are people that can help in a situation like that," she said.
Tina Evola, leader of the Compassionate Friends' Troy chapter, said she was impressed with Romeo's location and was happy to have the first event hosted in the historic village.
She said she has experienced firsthand the benefits of being in the group ever since she lost her daughter seven-and-a-half years ago.
"It's not a family you want to be in, but it's a good family to be in," she said. "You can't walk this journey by yourself, no matter how strong you are."
The event will also feature a potluck lunch and silent auction fundraiser, with all proceeds benefiting the Troy chapter.
Registration is $15 per person. Visit www.tcftroychapter.org or call Lewno at (586) 336-0864 for more information and registration forms.