My last morning of the 50 day journey started with a dry day. What more could I ask for? Around 8:30 TrueCore Federal Credit Union provided a breakfast and an opportunity to speak. Mayor Mark John, from the city of Heath, shared news about the feeding program that would be taking place this summer through a partnership with the Salvation Army and the Faith Community that will be supported through United Way funding.
After we left TrueCore we headed north into Newark. We stopped by the Flying Colors Preschool directed by Davelyn Ross. The children greeted me with cheers and a banner. Then it was off through Newark stopping by the main branch of the Licking County Library where their staff greeted me. Next stop was at Newark City Hall where Mayor Jeff Hall escorted us on our final steps of our journey. We stopped by the Sparta, walked through the Arcade, and stopped by local developer Jerry McClain’s office. Jerry is celebrating 50 years in business. After a brief visit at the Licking County Foundation, we then took a walk through the historical Licking County Jail where we were given tin cups full of change as we walked through.
Finally we were back home in the Works Courtyard just below our United Way office. Over a 100 guests welcomed me back. John Klauder, our board president spoke, as well as the County Commissioners and Newark City Mayor Jeff Hall. I then had the opportunity to thank so many people for helping this journey…
Sponsors: The Jerry McClain Companies, Coughlin Chevrolet Pataskala,,TrueCore Federal Credit Union Stacy R. Engle State Farm and Bill Stevenson State Farm, Accel Inc., Air Evac LifeTeam, Chestnut House Assisted Living, John Klauder Associates Landscape & Design, LTD., Licking Memorial Health Systems, The Energy Cooperative, North Valley Bank, Rob & Jamie Klinger / Shai Commercial Real Estate, The Ohio State University-Newark & Central Ohio Technical College, and Thrivent Financial.
50 the United Way Committee: Rick Black, Pam Jones, Dan Moder, Jennifer Utrevis, Wendy Hollinger, Seth Roy, Laura Edleblute, Bob Williams, and Jeff Gill.
UWLC Staff: Luellen Deeds, Leigh Ann Miller, Helen Hall, Virginia Terry, and Sheena Staley
The 50 day journey took me through 25 townships. I walked over 450 miles. I was welcomed by strangers and cared for by strangers. I listened and learned about our county. I shared the United Way Message and made new friendships.
I’m overwhelmed at the end of this day and know that it will take me some time to process as I reflect on the unique perspective that I have gained over the past 50 days.
For now I’m going to put down my pack, take off my boots and rest in the gift of this moment and an experience which can never fully be defined by this blog. Thanks to all of you for following me on this journey.