The Heart of Utica

I woke up at Velvet and packed up my tent. At 8:30 a.m., the United Way Agency Executive Council (AEC) met. This is the group of leaders from the agencies that United Way funds. We get together to talk about what’s going on in our agencies and what’s going on with United Way. I have a great deal of respect for our non profit leaders in Licking County. They are all working very hard to improve the lives of many through their various programs. To learn more about the programs we fund, you can go to our website at and also go to the agencies websites.

After the AEC meeting, we partnered with the Carol Strawn Center to host a Lunch and Learn on Alzheimer’s and other dementia related illnesses. Dr. Mary Beth Hall led the discussion. In the upcoming years, Licking County will also see an increase in dementia and Alzheimer’s as the majority of our population ages. Before we left we also received a donation form the Carol Strawn center for the “50”.

After the Lunch and Learn Dr. Hall walked with me to Miller Park in Utica. We enjoyed a delightful chat along the way. Thanks Dr. Hall for walking with me.

At Miller Park I pitched my tent near the restrooms that they were going to leave open for me. Shortly I was greeted by Mayor Larry Riesel and the village administrator, Glen Richards. Both of them are life long residents of Utica and had a lot of pride in their community.

The park was currently being renovated by private donations and soon I could see how important the park was. Around 5:00 p.m. the park was buzzing with probably over 150 people participating in youth baseball. The concession stand was busy, the playground equipment was being enjoyed and the youth players and their supporters were cheering until dark. Clearly the heart of Utica was beating at Miller Park that evening.

Shortly after dark the last car pulled away and I was able to hit the tent for some sleep.

Continue to follow Deb on the 50 the United Way journey. To donate toward 50 the United Way go to

#GiveWalkDo50 #LiveUnited

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