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The morning of Saturday, June 7th was a beautiful early summer blue sky day, just perfect for the first-ever “Fit and Fun Walk” at Friendship Park. Hosted by CARA, (Community Ambassadors Resource Alliance), the morning-long event featured a performance by the CRS Drum Line, music by local entertainer Mark Macomber, a 1/2 mile fitness walk along the scenic banks of the river, a live raffle with grand prize winners and the recognition of 2014 CARA Champions. Ohio Valley Goodwill was pleased to be a sponsor of the event which heralded the official launch of CARA’s new mission focus which is enriching the fitness lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.
CARA Executive Director, Debbie Moorehous, in welcoming the assembled guests, explained that CARA’s mission has always been about enriching the lives of people with developmental disabilities but as the group has evolved and became involved with “PigAbilities,” a training program affiliated with the annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, CARA’s focus became more about fitness specifically. The “Fit and Fun Walk” was a way of celebrating the new commitment on the part of the CARA group as well as an opportunity to raise needed funds and recognize Champions of the group.
The “Fit and Fun Walk” was officially kicked off by the CRS Drum Line who performed the Star Spangled Banner and marched around the path. The appreciative crowd joined in the singing and loudly applauded the performance of the group. Following the CRS team’s performance, walkers were off following the meandering path along the banks of the Ohio River. Friendship Park is beautifully landscaped and maintained and features different global themes throughout the gardens for visitors to enjoy. After the conclusion of the walk, guests re-assembled to listen to music and to enjoy the recognition of the 2014 CARA Champions- individuals that have been long-time supporters of CARA’s mission in the community. The 2014 CARA Champions included Dee Ziegler, (Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services), Karen Bruce and Evan Rohrkemper, (PigAbilities Coaches), Sharon Hannon, (Ohio Valley Goodwill) and Mark Macomber, (CARA volunteer).
Following the Champion recognition, attendees were thrilled to learn about the winners of the amazing raffle baskets donated by the CARA partner organizations as well as the Grand Prize winners of a new bike and a $100 P.F. Chang’s gift card. “We are so grateful to our CARA partners for their support of this event and to Ohio Valley Goodwill for their sponsorship of this first-ever Fit and Fun Walk,” said Debbie Moorehous, Executive Director. In its ten year history, the CARA Group has provided scholarships to hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities to allow them to enjoy life enriching experiences. The organization’s new focus on fitness and scholarships specifically for that purpose, should enable CARA to serve even more people in the years to come. “I am honored to have been recognized as a CARA Champion,” said Sharon Hannon, Marketing Specialist, Ohio Valley Goodwill. “Goodwill is a founding partner of the CARA group and is dedicated towards supporting its mission,” added Hannon.
To find out more about the CARA group, visit www.caragroup.org.