The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Depot Park walk raises awareness, funds for Rainbow Connection

 


By RICHARD JENKINS

rjenkins@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood — Volunteers gathered at Ironwood’s Depot Park Sunday for the annual Walk for Kids fundraiser to benefit the Rainbow Connection.

“It’s an organization that helps kids with life-threatening illnesses,” said Diane Youngberg, one of the event’s organizers. “It’s kind of ‘make a wish’ program, but it also does more — even with the kids that do get a ‘make a wish,’ they also can qualify for scholarships when they get older. They also help with care, getting you to the doctor, (a range of services).”

This is the fifth year the area has held a walk to benefit the organization, but the first held in Depot Park according to Youngberg. She said the previous years were held at Sunday Lake in Wakefield.

In addition to the walk — which participants could complete at any point during the event, which ran from roughly 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — the event also featured a scavenger hunt for both adults and kids, as well as a Pokemon hunt. Aspirus had a table set up, offering apples and first-aid kits. There was also a photo booth and various other vendors, as well as several raffles for items donated by area businesses.

The group also sold hotdogs and brats for those who got hungry.

In addition to the funds raised through pledges by those walking, the Rainbow Connection also benefits from Walmart program — an event sponsor — that gives money to a charity for every block of hours its employees volunteer with the charity.

Youngberg said they were in the process of hitting the $3,000 mark through this program.

While the money will undoubtedly help the Rainbow Connection, Youngberg said the event was also about awareness.

“What we’re really trying to do, is get word out to the community that there is this organization. A couple years ago on our walk, we were introduced — a teacher introduced us — to a family in Wakefield, and this organization sent the dad and the little boy to Hawaii,” she said. “When we talk to people about Rainbow Connection, they are like, ‘What?’ So if we know anybody that has a little one who could qualify for this, that’s our main goal.”

 
 

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