EightCAP preparing to host Walk For Warmth fundraisers

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 3:25 pm on Monday, December 31, 2012

The most recent Barren Dash took place Jan. 28, 2012. Pictured at far right are event director Allison DeMara and her daughter, Joslin, along with other participants. The next Barren Dash will take place March 2 at Montcalm Community College to raise funds to help heat homes in Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm counties. — Courtesy photo

Many West Michigan residents will struggle once again to heat their homes and pay their rent this winter.

Officials from EightCAP Inc. are hoping events from the eighth annual Walk for Warmth effort will help ease some of this stress.

EightCAP will be hosting a variety of events this winter to raise funds for needy families and individuals in Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm counties.

According to Tammy Dann, community services coordinator for EightCAP in Ionia and Montcalm counties, while some of the events have different names, they all coincide with Walk for Warmth.

“The funds that we raise from these events are used to help people with their heating bills, utilities and, sometimes, their rent to keep them warm and safe in their homes,” Dann said.

Upcoming events include:

• 10:30 a.m. Feb. 2: A walk through downtown Mount Pleasant, followed by a soup and bread luncheon.

• 10:30 a.m. Feb. 9: A walk through downtown Ionia, followed by a soup and bread luncheon.

• 10:30 a.m. Feb. 16: A walk around Baldwin Lake in Greenville, followed by a soup and bread luncheon.

• 10:30 a.m. Feb. 23: A walk through downtown Alma, followed by a soup and bread luncheon.

• Noon March 2: The Barren Dash at Montcalm Community College in Sidney.

Allison DeMara coordinates the Barren Dash, which involves raising funds and then walking or running 1 mile or 5K in what is typically cold weather at 3 p.m. near the college. The run/walk is followed by a soup cook-off. Whoever receives the most donations for their soup wins the cook-off.

“The Barren Dash is very important because people need to know that we are all in this together.” DeMara said. “Everyone in Michigan is having a rough go of it right now and if we all work together we will come out of this recession stronger.”

The Barren Dash also features crafts for children, a music jam session, a deejay, a 50-50 raffle and a silent auction.

“It’s just a fun event,” Dann said. “It’s a lot of humor, a lot of laughter and knowing we’re doing something good for the community.

For more information about any of the Walk for Warmth events, visit EightCAP.org online or call Dann or DeMara at (616) 754-9315.

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