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13 Miles in Good Company

The rain continued all night and when it came time for me to pack up, I had no choice but to pack up everything in the rain, which led to everything getting soaked. As I was packing, I could hear my cell phone ringing repeatedly as Leigh Ann wanted to know where I was. I couldn’t answer the phone immediately because I was focused on the priority of getting my sleeping bag and shelter packed. After I was packed and walking out of the woods with my headlamp, it dawned on me that many people living in poverty have a hard time answering the calls of society in many ways when they are so focused on taking care of the basics, which are the priorities of their lives. For many today have enough worries of their own to even think about tomorrow!

Board member Wendy Hollinger met me in front of her house and walked in the rain with me to Middleton, the new assisted living just off route 16. Wendy runs Phoenix Graphics and does a fabulous job. She donated her time and expertise to put together the 50 day journal that we are encouraging people to use during this journey. Thanks Wendy!!!! Once at Middleton, we had a wonderful breakfast with Max Kirby and a tour of the new facilities. As our population ages so will the need for assisted living communities. I would be happy to recommend Middleton to anyone looking.

From Middleton, Wendy and I walked to the Welsh Hills School, where I was able to talk with a lively bunch of kids from Kindergarten to 8th grade. We talked about my walk and why I was doing it. The kids had a lot of good questions and the teachers and staff were fabulous. What a treat!

Leaving there, we headed to the Granville Inn for the Granville Rotary meeting. The meeting was run by the interact students that I had spent the night with at Granville High School just a few days earlier. I was so proud of all of them. It was quite clear that they were already leaders in our community and have so much to offer. Their creativity and energy was inspiring to all in attendance. A special congratulations to Emily Brown who was honored by receiving the student of the month award. Emily is also the daughter of Jeff Brown, the Granville School District Superintendent. Emily is already living out the Rotary motto: Service before self. Way to go Emily!

After the meeting Rick Black, the County Commissioner, my friend Donna Gibson from Mental Health America, surprised me. Donna brought a hot cup of coffee to warm me up. After they left, I had time to enjoy conversation with Bob Williams and his wife Beth before winding down for the evening in my sleeping bag.

It had been a long day and I had hiked 13 miles and met with almost 200 people from all the groups.

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