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November 5, 2012

Homeless Hike fundraiser exceeds goal

MT. VERNON — — Three months of planning and almost $7,000 later, organizers of the Homeless Hike for the New Life Family Shelter can say it was a good day.

There were 40 people from the community who participated in the 5k fundraiser, 15 of them runners.

Father John Iffert was in charge of the fundraising and Lifeboat Alliance Executive Director Jenny O’Daniel, said the fundraiser was his brainchild.

“He was the one who came up with the Homeless Hike. He was instrumental in making this happen,” she said. “[The day] went better than expected. On an event like this, you never know what the weather is going to do, or how many people will show up.”

The money for the fundraiser will be used for everything at the New Life Family Shelter, from operational expenses on.

Currently there are 13 guests at the shelter, six women and seven children. The goal of the shelter is to help the guests find gainful employment and housing, and O’Daniel said two of the women had already found jobs and one has found an apartment — the shelter has been open for about one month.

“It’s part of a personal goal for me,” she said.

O’Daniel said she is thankful for everyone who came to the fundraiser.

“Without all of you, this would not be happening,” she told the crow.

Event chair Laurie Fowler said the turnout for the Homeless Hike was great — both in the number of people who showed up to run or walk and the number of volunteer who assisted in the operations.

She said the fundraiser hit their goal of funds raised by sponsors, which was almost $4,000. The individual who raised the most was Iffert and the youth group who raised the most was from St. Mary Grade School.

“We had great support from the community,” Fowler said. “It was asking for a lot for people to donate in November, but people really stepped up and did it.”

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