The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Mild weather draws crowd to 4th annual DOVE Color Run


May 6, 2019

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

AT FAR LEFT, Gogebic County Circuit Court Judge Michael Pope continues to hold his arm up after shooting his starter gun for the fourth annual DOVE Color Run/Walk around Wakefield's Sunday Lake on Saturday morning. Standing to the right of Pope is announcer Luke Penrose, while a couple of "Star Wars" characters stand between them amidst the crowd.


Wakefield - The fourth annual DOVE Color Run/Walk had a sunny, warm welcome with Saturday temperatures that grew from the 50s to nearly 70 degrees.

"It's just awesome," said Jeanine Winkowski, executive director of Domestic Violence Escape, Inc., a women's shelter in Ironwood.

The fundraiser, which was based at Wakefield's VFW Post 9084, featured untimed runs or walks around Sunday Lake, as well as prizes, a 50/50 raffle and a pancake breakfast.

The event lived up to its name in that participants were given packets of nontoxic colored powders that they tossed in the air when Gogebic County Circuit Court Judge Michael Pope shot the starter gun.

Participants of all ages provided more color by wearing a variety of tutus or costumes as they walked with dogs while babies rode in strollers or carriers.

Winkowski said 98 people had registered in advance, with more folks signing in during the hour before takeoff. Additional folks provided moral support and came to enjoy a pancake breakfast that was available to the public for a donation of choice.

"It's a beautiful day," said Lori Bennetts of Bessemer, who added of her niece, Abby Bennetts, "She cons me into this every year."

Bennetts was walking with Amity Busch and her daughter, Leah Busch, of Bessemer. They had made their own tutus after buying tulle and elastic.

So did Christina Hoeft and Alyssa Ahonen, who were walking with Adam Little under sponsorship by Burton Industries of Ironwood.

Hoeft was leading her dog, Kaiya, who is about nine months old and still full of puppyish glee.

Angie Brownell of Watersmeet also had her dog, Cleo, along for the walk. "She's very excited," said Brownell of the dog.

Brownell had answered the Facebook call of Liz Peacock of Paulding, who was walking for the third year. She said she likes to support local causes because "I know where the money goes."

As Winkowski told the Globe later about any profits taken in, "It goes back into our services - things that grants don't cover."

One of the runners at the event was Heather List of Ironwood, who was there with her daughters, Carmen Forstrum and Autumn List.

"My girls wanted to do this," said List, who added they all dressed in white to serve as palettes for the spray of colored dust.

Their Goldendoodle, Sammy, was game to match their pace. "He's our big baby," said List of the happy dog.

Inside of the VFW, the lobby was festooned with balloons and flowers and featured an entry curtain made of long, thick tinsel. The hall's neatly set tables stood ready for the breakfast-bound.

Winkowski was grateful to members of the VFW and its auxiliary, who produced the meal. The food was available until noon with the help of additional volunteers such as Kobe Lorendo and Scott LaRock, students from Gogebic Community College.

Regarding the bounty of prizes, Winkowski said the lot came "from all over" and was "just amazing," including gift certificates, theme baskets, and other items such as framed pictures from the Baraga Correctional Facility.

Pamela Niemi, assistant director for DOVE, designed this year's logo, which was displayed on event t-shirts, which also listed sponsor names.

As participants made their way along the nearly three-mile distance around the lake, they encountered color stations whereat designated tossers threw more color dust as they passed.

Andrew DiGiorgio, director of the Ironwood Public Safety Department, said members of all local law enforcement, including the Michigan State Police and the Gogebic County Sheriff's Office, also were present to "create a safe environment."


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