Darla Bowman was right when she said this year’s SOUL Walk was the best one yet.
The walks have all been good and they keep getting better every year.
The camaraderie of the people can’t be beat. They’re all there for the same reason…honoring their deceased loved ones.
Some of the deaths each year are real fresh, and the walks surely help the walkers to reflect on the ones who have gone before them.
The fist year when it was known Out of the Darkness Walk and solely focused on those who completed suicide and the grieving ones they left behind, I wrote a nine-part series.
As a result, and with the help of Darla and the committee, not to mention the families I interviewed, I won a second-place state Associated Press award for that series and was presented the award in Columbus.
So, because of that and the people I’ve worked with on the committee, plus the people I’ve met over the past four years at these events, make the walks my pride and joy.
Darla is so kind to thank me for everything I do, but I will reciprocate and say it is because of her that I do it. She is a very caring person and goes out of her way to help others.
This year was especially nice to see Stacy Dorko, who was one of the interviewees in that first nine-part series. Despite health issues she has endured this past year, she went on the walk in a wheelchair pushed by her father, Ken Schmitz, part of our church family. Also the daughter of Jean Borton, Stacy will be featured as part of my series this coming week.
My son, Jamie, went with me to the walk and got to meet Stacy.
“She’s a sweetheart,” he said.
And, that she is.
• Upcoming event at the American Legion in Ansonia is the fish fry from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4. Raffle tickets for the Veteran’s Day bean supper on Nov. 11 are still available.
• Any veteran in the area is welcome to participate in the Veteran’s Day Parade in Greenville on Nov. 11. Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 57 Commander Robert Foster said the participants will be leaving Greenville Public Library a little before 11 and march to the courthouse on South Broadway, stopping in front of the clock. Other features of the event will be a prayer, introductions, a 21-gun salute at 11:11 a.m., presentation of a wreath, and the playing of the National Anthem by the high school band. The combined color guard of the DAV, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion will also be in attendance.
• Sept. 30 to Mary Ann Gump, Lila Pinney, Betty Teegarden, Tammy Curtis, Jean Covault Riffell, Bridget Alexander Sharp and Jason Young.
• Oct. 1 to Tommy Shaw, John Clack, Johnny Ray Riffell, Gloria Saintignon, Sharon Mayo, Georgianna Schafer Crawford, Bob Robinson, Carlton Conner, Marilyn Lutz, Tom Hollinger, Jason Dirksen (40), Casey Marker (30), Dolores Bowman, Katie Baker Cothran and Jackie Howell.
• Oct. 2 to Jim Moody (80), Jerry Batten Jr., Dennis Butts, Dixie Ray, Elizabeth Heitkamp, Sam Androne, Ronnie Richards, Dani Gibbs and Mark Wolfe.
• Oct. 3 to Rileigh Norton (12), Kim Cromwell, Shirley Riffell Morrow, Linda Cobb Rosengarten, Cheryl Hammontree Fraley, Sharon Rismiller Fourman, Ron Turner, Derek Ketring, Karen Duncan and Jody Mangen.
• Oct. 4 to Alyson Waymire (20), Amy Grogean, Laura Jones, Lucinda Ledbetter, Jill Riegle Gelhaus and Daniel Fitzgerald (21).
• Oct. 5 to Tim Bang, Jamie Spencer, Josh Spradling, Kaylyn Bailey, Mike Rammel and Larry Reed.
• Oct. 6 to Maxine Didier, Dean Butts, Edna Stover McCoy, Dawn Beasecker, Delpha Bolyard and Jennifer Earick.
Happy anniversary to: Joe and Angie Widener (10) and Mike and Mary Dohme, all on Oct. 1; and Ivan and Patricia Steinke (35) and Jay and Deidre Stammen, all on Oct. 4.
Don’t forget to pray for: Stacy Dorko, Gloria Keller-Brinley, Lee Moody (our father), Linda Johnston, Ron Kreitze, Pappy Harshman, Gerald Rhoades, Chris Young, Debbie Edwards, Harold Rismiller, Rick Jones, Linda Johnston, Albert Duncan, Delores Duncan, Ansonia Police Chief Frank Shapiro, Randy Heck, John Klipstine, Greg Moody, Elsie Svajda, Dave Sherman, Sue Chitty, Phil Chilcoat, Christine Pipenger, Paul Barton, Terry Ungericht, Gracyn Blackburn, Jim Moody, Lowell Arnold, Joe and Wanda Bailey, Mel Grile, Robert Codling, Kohen Thwaits, Kenny Dunevant, J.C. and D’Arleen Waymire, Deanna Jones, William DeBord, Dave Starline, Bob Hiestand Jr., Kathy and Tom Hamilton, Joanne Sharp, Larry Bemis, Ivan Miller, Cindy Elson, Cary Van De Grift, Dina Dancer Morris, Teresa Mayo Hammons, Jim Crotcher, Tina Kiser Deaton, Alvera Schmitz, Jerrod Pratt, Vicky Henderson, Julia Frey, Tonia Thompson, Fred Monnin, Thelma Shade, Bob Coppock, Stephen “Brownie” Brown.
Also, Nate Epperson, Brad Pipenger, Faye Schlecty, Michelle Sparks Reed, Bill Beasley, Steve Cunningham, Kody Ketring, Allan Addington, Bob and Sandy Finkbine, Kevin Dickey, Joe Martin, Tracy Bailey, Brenda Grimes, Margaret “Peg” Bundy, Kevin Hemmerich, Ray Dickey Jr., Penny Starns, Tim Heck, Vanna (Hannam) Abbott, Suzy Heck Schilling, Addie Henderson, Barb Morrow Zimmerman, Samantha Smith, Shannon Peters Hall, Todd Walls, Ron Kramer, Melissa “Missy” Helmer, Susie Gress of Nebraska, Dana Holzapfel, Kara Didier, Carla Welch, Bill Schuette and to all those others who suffer from the many debilitating diseases. And, God bless all of our military people serving and protecting this nation.
Son Jamie and I express our sincere condolences to the families of: Max Shoemaker, Ruby Edger, Carrie Carter, John Magoto, Ona Cheadle, Jim Waymire, Pauline Thornburg, Judy Hawkey and Treva Shimp.
Think about it: “Aim high in your career, but stay humble in your heart.” — Unknown