CLEAR LAKE, Ia – It might be a family member or long time friend participants of Opportunity Village’s benefit walk are cheering on as they cross the finish line.
“Who do you walk for” Is this years theme as most taking part raise money and put one foot in front of the other for someone close to their heart.
“It just brings out such a great of the community and the people we support, their families and it’s just great coming together time,” says CEO of Opportunity Village John Severtson.
Not only is it great for families and friends to show support, but it’s extremely helpful to the non-profit organization which provides a community for those with special needs. Before the event, each walker finds several sponsors to donate money to the worthy cause.
“It goes to our general operating expenses for the village to make up the difference between what is funded through state and local and government grants to make up the difference of that,” says organizer Jennifer Pinske.
This year they have a hefty, but achievable goal.
“It’s just a tremendous event, we always have had such a great turn out and we raise over $100,000 each year, our goal this year is $150,000.
The event has been around a long time. Opportunity Village has been inspiring folks to walk a mile, or ten, for 45 years now!
“It’s a very unique walk because it’s might be one of the longest standing walks out there because it’s gone on 45 consecutive years through rain and snow,” comments Pinske.
Severtson walks for those he’s grown close with over the years at the village and has enjoyed being a part of the event for 32 years. This will be his final year as CEO. Jeff Nichols takes over in July.
“I think he’s going to do a great job, I look forward to seeing what happens under his leadership,” says Severtson.
For now, he is nothing but grateful.
“I just want to thank the people of North Iowa for their tremendous support of the village and we look forward to that as an ongoing part of this organization it’s really one of the things that makes us so successful,” adds Severtson.
The walk is followed by a celebratory live band.
As of Sunday night, organizers tell us so far they have raised 4118,000 and they expect that number to continue to rise.