Walk For Warmth deemed a big success

LAKE COUNTY — One of this season’s rare snowstorms made a beautiful if somewhat slippery background for the 19th Annual “Walk for Warmth” which was held last Saturday morning in Baldwin. The rather challenging weather conditions did not deter approximately three dozen dedicated marchers, who set off on their two-mile trek from St. Ann’s Community Center right on schedule at ten o’clock.

When asked if this year’s weather was the worst ever, spokesperson Connie Perley-Theunick said, “Not at all — three or four years ago we held the event in the middle of a genuine blizzard, and another year I remember we had icy rain. That was really hard to walk in. Today it is not all that bad; we do have snow, but the temperature is not too cold. It’s going to be a great walk.”

This year’s event was particularly festive, with more than thirty people gathered for the mini-marathon.

One special guest who participated was Rep. John Bumstead, from the 100th District of the Michigan House, who came with his grand-daughter Molly Williams. Also on hand to give their support were County Commisioner Karl Walls, former Commissioner Leigh Schwartz (director of the Thrift Center), and Father Ron Schneider of St. Ann’s parish.

As always, many community organizations, businesses, and individuals got involved in this charitable campaign, which has become a beloved local tradition over the past two decades.

A spirit of friendliness and community spirit was in the air as the assembled marchers prepared to embark on their hike. The Rev. Willie Taylor of the Baldwin Church of Christ delivered an invocation in which he prayed for the safety of the group and blessed everyone who gave so generously of themselves in this worthy cause.

Despite the rather slick streets, this year’s “Walk for Warmth” came off without a hitch, and everybody returned safe and sound, and invigorated by the exercise, for a festive luncheon at St. Ann’s Community Center. A party mood prevailed, with nearly all the marchers wearing their commemorative tee-shirts, which this year were a striking bright jade green.

FiveCAP, Inc., organizers of the Walk for Warmth, were extremely gratified by the response to this year’s campaign.

Well over $6,000 has already been collected, and more pledge-sheets are still coming in. The donations are a true godsend for many needy families in the Northwest Michigan, who struggle to pay their winter heating bills. Although this year’s winter has been relatively mild, more than a few local households find their budgets stretched, and a boost from “Walk for Warmth” can make a big difference to them. FiveCAP, and all the participants, are determined to insure that no one in Lake County is cold.

To all who showed their kindness and concern, congratulations on a terrific success. See you again next year.