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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 10/10/12
Heidi Sonck pushes daughter Abigayle Newell, alongside her soon-to-be mother-in-law Sue Ruppart.
(Observer photo by Lori Phillips)
Samaritan House benefits
from annual Harvest Walk
by LORI PHILLIPSMasses of purple Harvest Walk T-shirts punctuated the orange, red, and yellow-lined streets of Romeo Sunday afternoon. Participants of all ages and fitness levels started and finished their philanthropic journey at St. John Lutheran Church, after choosing the one- or three-mile route.
Observer Special Writer
Carlene Cremin, Sue Ruppart and Heidi Sonck each participated in the inaugural walk and returned this year, opting for the longer path. Even Sonck's 14-month-old daughter, Abigayle Newell, is a veteran.
"Abigayle was in the first Harvest Walk when she was 3 months old," she said.
They enjoyed good conversation, mild weather and the beautiful fall scenery.
"This is wonderful. I'm loving it," Cremin said.
Mary Ane Everhart, Stasia Kamon and Sis Johns had something to love as well. At the start of the event, it was announced that they were the raffle winners of the large heirloom quilt, the quilted throw, and the tea package, respectively.
For the convenience of all participants, water stations and bathroom stalls were placed throughout the marked routes.
Officer Linda Blevins of the Romeo Police Department assisted in guiding safe passage through busy intersections.
In past fundraising walks, most of the money was shared with the Church World Services organization. This year, the greatest portion will benefit local residents.
"The demand for assistance is still increasing in this area," said Pamela Zendt, executive director of Samaritan House. "It's our community that is raising the funds. We wanted to put the money to work in our community. We owe it to our contributors to be good shepherds of those funds."
Over 100 participants collected pledges of varying amounts. A final financial tally was not available on the day of the walk.
"The money will keep coming in for about the next two weeks," said Ann Tomlanovich, who coordinated the event along with Vickey Kipp. "Romeo is a tremendously generous community."
About 300 households currently get food from Samaritan House every month.
This year's walk was supported by a long list of sponsors including: Greenfield Collision, Kiwanis International, Tee's "N" Things, Thee Office Pub & Cookery, the Poljan Agency, Culligan, Hair Designers & Co., Label Tech, Details Salon, St. John Lutheran Church, Mary Rayman of Keller Williams Realty, and St. John Vianney Catholic Church.
The Kiwanis Club also grilled hot dogs for hungry participants after the race.
Dan Lane, owner of Greenfield Collision, donated $4,000 for the walk this year. Lane attended with his wife, Missy, and children Michelle, Dalton, Hailey and Jessica.
"We've always donated to these walks; ever since they started doing them in Washington Township," he said. "Now that they are here with Samaritan House, we are committed to stay with them. Their slogan is that no one should go hungry and I agree with that 100 percent."
If you are in need of assistance or would like to make a donation, call Samaritan House at (586) 336-9956.