We have finished!!!!! The walk ended up being 86 miles but we had wonderful company.... Thank you everyone!!!
Sunday is the finally day for the walk. It has been very challenging in many ways. If you haven't made a donation and would still like to, this website will remain active until tomorrow at midnight, at which time I will withdraw all funds to present to the Child Advocacy Center. THANK YOU to everyone who has either supported me finacially, with words of encouragment or both. Without all of you, I could not have done anything.
Day 3 started out cold and rainy but soon warmed and dried up. We were joined by Therapy dog Alex and Facility dog Matty and their handler Amber who escorted me through downtown Kalamazoo. We were later joined by therapist Maureen who finished up the 24 mile day... One more day and the Journey will be finished, it's been a hard long road!
Day 3 - It looks like a nice cold & rainy day... Brrr...
Day 2 has finally ended... It was a much better day than yesterday. We stayed warm and dry and finished before the rain. We had one walker injured by a walnut. They like to roll right under your feet when you're not looking. We are in Kalamazoo all day tomorrow, come out and join us!
Day 2 - A little stiff this morning, but I am thinking thats from all the shivering I did yesterday. Today promises o be a much better day. I had to disable live tracking yesterday because within an hour of walking my battery died. I'll try to post along my way, but if not I'll update everyone at the end of the day.
Today was a challenging day. It tested my resolve, fortunately I was up for the test. It rained the entire day, and by mile 10 I was walking by myself. Between the cold and the rain, I managed to stay completely wet and cold the entire day. Tomorrow WILL BE a better day, but all in all it was still a great day.
Kal-Haven Trail Mile 12
If you scroll to the bottom of my page you'll see a link for live tracking. Click on it and enter the key FFFFFJDn and you can track my progress today. It was a little stubborn last night when I was testing it, but I eventually got it working. Have a great day everyone!
Ok, all the dreaming, planning, training, and begging for donations are over. All thats left is the walking. See you on the road tomorrow.
The walk begins tomorrow at 9:00 AM, come rain or shine, and/or possibly snow, brrr.... I wont ask anyone to walk with me if it's snowing, but it's not too late to still donate. Thank you for all your support!
Forecasted to rain all weekend... It's going to be a long, cold, and wet walk. Stay tuned....
Just finished the final recon of the route. The walk starts Thursday, hoping for good weather!
Meet Phyllis VanOrder
Phyllis is our Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program Coordinator (SANE nurse) at Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County. While being the Program Coordinator you would think that Phyllis would do just that "“ Coordinate"¦, but Phyllis is unique. You'll find Phyllis still responding to crisis calls on patients of all ranges and gender. Phyllis has seen patients as young as 3 months old and as old as 96. She is our expert for everything medical regarding sexual assaults.
Phyllis has been a nurse for 27 years, she is certified in the care of adult, adolescent, and pediatric patients by the International Association of Forensic Nurses, she is also a member of IFN, and a founding member and president elect of the state chapter.
Phyllis was working in the Emergency Room in 1992 when she went to a conference where the mother of Forensic Nursing, Virginia Lynch, was speaking about nurse examiner programs. At that time there were only about 30 programs in the nation. Phyllis remained interested in the program after returning from the conference. Several years later she was approached about participating in a summit. The community as well as several other organizations were interested in implementing a new SANE program in Calhoun County. The implementation team consisted of 12 people, who worked together to gain funding, write policies, establish protocols, as well as operating locations, all the while keeping the community's needs in mind.
Today we have a successful program that not only operates out of the Fieldstone Center but out of Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall as well, and the best part of this whole program is that it's free of charge to all patients.
Come meet this wonderful groundbreaker, who has done so much for our community on Sunday Oct 20th as she walks with me into Sexual Assault Services at 3:00 pm for our open house and silent auction.
Thanks to Bronson BC Hospital and volunteer driver Barb, we now have a shuttle from the hospital to points along the trail on Sunday. So you can park your car at the Fieldstone Center and take the shuttle out to either 5, 3, or 1 miles out and finish the walk to the Child Advocacy Center where we will have an open house, refreshments, and a silent auction.
Meet Maria Markos...
Maria Markos is our Community educator at Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County. Maria goes out to the schools and speaks to students about how to empower themselves to find their voice and learn how to speak up against child abuse and child sexual abuse. She gives them tools to use, so they know when and who to tell. She also provides training to the community as well, with such programs as "Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children prevention training program for adults", Dynamics of Sexual Violence and the Personal Wellness toolkit.
In March the Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (SADVCC) will be hosting a project to engage boys and men as allies in a mission to end violence against girls and woman. Thanks to a W.K. Kellogg grant they were able to bring in Tony Porter for this event. Mr. Porter is a nationally recognized educator and activists recognized for his efforts to end men's violence against women. He is the visionary and co-founder behind "A Call to Men".
If you would like to meet Maria and speak to her about her educational work or any ideas you may have please join us on the walk Sunday October 20th, where she will be walking to help raise awareness.
Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County is very fortunate to have many therapists like Amber (pictured here), who give so much of themselves to ensure children receive the best possible care. She, along with her trained CCI Facility dog, Matty and former therapy dog Alex will join us on our walk. Keep checking back for the days and times they will be walking if you would like to meet these three gentle souls that put children at ease effortlessly. I can truly say I am honored to know them and call them friends!
Off for an easy 10 miler this morning on the White Pine Trail. If you see me stop and say hello!
I've done two interviews for local newspapers about the walk this week. The word is getting out!
October 1st... So many things to be thankful for and so many things to look forward to. The walk is only a few weeks away. I feel prepared, say a prayer that the weather holds out and the snakes go underground. Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement over the past few months. You all are wonderful!
18 days until it all begins. I hope you all have your walking shoes on. I slept in mine last night...
Two days ago I challenged you to take my total from $990 to $1,000. Not only did you take up the challenge you exceeded it. Many of you apologized for only giving $10 or $20. However, it was your donations of $10 or $20 that took off. It was like an avalanche and kept gaining momentum. So, please don't apologize for giving what you consider to be a small amount. To me it's everything! Thank you!!!
Ok, I know it sounds a little silly but $990.00 seems a little odd. I am going to challenge someone to donate $10.00 to make it an even 1k. Send me a message with your address, shirt size and desired color (lime, pink, white, or blue) and I'll put a t-shirt in the mail for you tomorrow... Who will be the first to donate $10.00 for a cool t-shirt?
In the past three months I have put in 392 walking miles, for a total time of 120 hours, burned 43,000 calories, and gained 5 pounds. There is something definately wrong with those numbers!
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.
"” Helen Keller
Spent this weekend working out the exact route through Kalamazoo. There are a few miles that might be a little tricky but I feel better now that I've walked or seen the entire route. It's going to be a good walk. Lets hope for nice weather!
On Sunday Oct 20th as I come dragging in to Battle Creek. Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County will be having the silent auction that was rained out last month. The silent auction will be held in the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) where I work. Therefore, anyone that wants to come out and walk for that last leg, you can get a tour of the CAC, have something to drink and bid on some absolutely beautiful items. If you're interested and seeing the items you can go to https://www.facebook.com/SAScalhoun
Today must have been the perfect day for snakes. Ten miles and five snakes. Lets hope by October they all are sleeping in their little cubbies... I truly do hate snakes!
The walk is a little more than a month away. Help me bring awareness to Child Sexual Abuse.
One set of the T-shirts came in today. If you're walking with me on October 17-21, Click on this link to see what you'll be wearing, so you can coordinate your wardrobe appropriately. :-)
Thank you to all my supporters, not just the finacial ones but the ones that give me that little boost of encouragement. Sometimes it's enough to keep going. (But most definately thank you to the finacial supporters too!)
My iphone says it 89 degrees, but what it doesn't tell me is that the heat index put us at 101 degrees. Might be why my 10 mile walk felt more like a 10 mile swim today. #ihatehashtags #ihatehumiditymore
Blistering hot 12 miler today. Walked from home to the hospital to visit. Was ready for a nap once I got there... Phew... Tough day!
Due to a very busy week, I have walked very little. Maybe 20-25 miles since Sunday, but I did an 8 miler today and hope to throw in a couple 10's this weekend to help make up for it. The walk is a month and a half away. Walk, walk, walk...
Life sometimes gets in the way of the best laid plans. Remember to appreciate all that you have now. Tomorrow may be too late.
Purchased the t-shirts for the walk. This is just one of the colors that we'll have.
I am pretty sure this guy was following me... A surprisingly easy 12 miler today - with scary company.
While we have been tagging our FB photos with people and location for years, a new report has added some perspective to this potentially dangerous habit. The GPS locator in your phone can lead predators to your doorstep. Photos you upload to FB or anywhere online have GPS coordinates embedded in them. A quick copy and paste into Google maps and your location is known to anyone who cares to cyber-stalk you. So, if you have children go into your security settings on your smart phone and turn off location services. The down side to this is that it also disables the locator service if you lose your phone. A small price to pay in regards to the potential worst case outcome I would say.
I've been sick for the past few days and finally feel like I have enough strength to do a short walk. Maybe a 6-8 miler on this beautiful Sunday.
Very excited to share that I just received confirmation that our therapy dogs (Thats right - two dogs) will be joining us on the walk. Alex and her handler Amber will be joined by our new CCI therapy dog that we have yet to meet. As the walk draws closer and I know which leg of the walk Amber will join us, I will post it for anyone that wants to meet our existing and new therapy dogs. In the meantime, here's a beautiful photo of my BFF Alex and her handler Amber.
You know it's humid when you walk outside and your glasses immediately fog up... Easy 8 miles today.
Thank you to everyone who has shared my page, donated, volunteered, or just shown morale support. With less than 2 1/2 months until the walk begins, I realize this is truly a journey. We have support from some bigger than life personalities that are starting to emerge, and I am just grateful to all of you that have been the driving force behind all that... THANK YOU!
A very good friend told me today that people may not realize that this walk is something I concieved. It is not part of someone else's sponsored event or corporate idea. It is my vision of what we as a community, a network of friends, a group of strangers can do together if we set our minds to it. Will my walk stop child sexual abuse as a whole? No... But, if it can stop one case from happening, isnt it worth it? Can one voice ever make a difference?
Three and a half hours later, two snakes, one aggressive fat squirrel, and a brand new pair of socks with holes in them now and I have finished my first 15 miler. Just in time to shower, eat, and go teach. My donations seem to have hit a lull, I do hope some of you will still contribute.
Easy six mile walk after work. Going for a 15 miler tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Another long walk this morning. It's always better when you have a good book. Listening to One Second After. Very thought provoking...
Rest day from walking... Put in 60 miles last week. Time to recharge.
Come out October 17th and join us. Starting at the South Haven trailhead at 9:00 AM.
Kal-Haven Trail - Come join us Oct 17th
If you haven't tried any of Michigans Rail to Trails routes then you are truly missing out.
10 miles in this heat sure is draining. Time to recover with a nice big cold glass of ice tea!
Please help support my Journey!
The latest numbers state that about 1 in 10 children will experience child sexual abuse before their 18 birthday' or "about 1 in 7 girls or 1 in 25 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18."
As a Forensic Interviewer I have witnessed first hand the affects this kind of abuse can leave behind. I've also seen what amazing work Child Advocacy Centers do for children. I have seen some amazing people do amazing things with children. Unfortunately all of the funding for the centers come by way of grants or donations. This year, like many other programs, the funding was cut drastically. I wanted to do something to not only raise awareness about this horrific crime but to also help raise funds to help keep programs in place. These programs are all free of charge to a victim and their families.
I thought about the children and the incredibly difficult journey that begins the moment they decide to trust enough and tell someone about their abuse. From that moment on their lives will forever be changed. I wanted to do something that reflected their extremely tough journey. When I couldn't locate anything that I felt reflected their hard road, I decided to create my own journey. My event is not corporate sponsored, it is just one person trying to motivate not only other individuals, but communities, cities, and states to join in. On Oct 17th, I will begin a multi day walk from the shores of South Haven to the doorstep of Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County in Battle Creek, where I will present a check to the manager of the program. 100% of everything raised on this fundraising web site will be presented to the manager on Sunday Oct 20th. The operating costs of the journey have come directly out of my own pocket, nothing is taken from the fundraising.
The staff of Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County will greet us at the Child Advocacy Center where they will open the doors to anyone that wishes to see the facility. There will be refreshments and a silent auction. The auction consists of many items donated by community partners to include Art, American Girl dolls, Keurig Coffee Machine, Stained Glass items, crotched afghans, kid friendly toys, jewelry, and many more.
Please take a moment to support this journey, either by donation or by raising awareness. Come out and walk or just track the walk and remember that it only takes one voice to be heard. Let us all be that ONE VOICE!
If you would prefer to mail a check, please make them payable and mail to:
SAS of Calhoun County - 1VJ
36 W. Manchester
Battle Creek MI 49037
The Journey begins Thursday October 17, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Bailey Street Trailhead in South Haven
Finishes on Sunday October 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM
Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County
36 W. Manchester in Battle Creek
Click on the link below to see the route. http://www.kalcounty.com/parks/krvt/KRVT_RegionalMap.pdf
Day 1 - Begin 9:00 AM at Bailey St Trailhead South Haven
Lunch 12:30 PM at 54th St Kal-Haven Trail crossing Grand Junction
End 3:30 PM at Oak St Kal-Haven Trail crossing Bloomingdale
Day 2 - Begin 9:00 AM at Oak St Kal-Haven Trail crossong Bloomingdale
Lunch 12:30 PM at 23rd St Kal-Haven Trail crossing
End 3:30 PM at Owen Dr Kal-Haven Trail crossing outside Kzoo
Day 3 - Begin 9:00 AM at Owen Dr Kal-Haven Trail crossing outside Kzoo
Lunch 12:30 PM at Sutherland Park Loop Kzoo
End 3:30 PM at River Oaks Park Comstock Township
Day 4 - Begin 9:00 AM at River Oaks Park Comstock Township
Lunch 12:30 PM at N Brady Rd BC Linear Park Trailhead
End 3:00 PM at 36 W. Manchester BC