Youth group hikes five miles with cross 3.26

Written by David Green.

In 13 years of Good Friday walks, this year’s tops them all for weather conditions.

“We have walked in light rain and snow flurries,” said Our Lady of Mercy church youth leader Anita Van Zile, “however, this year’s snowstorm tops the list for the worse weather.”

She walked from Harrison Lake State Park into Fayette with nearly 20 church members—mostly from the youth group—just as Friday’s snowstorm unleashed its fury.

“We average about 30 participants annually, but one year had close to 60 people,” Van Zile said. “In good weather, we have had baby strollers with toddlers, and also some senior citizens. Bad weather definitely reduces the numbers.”

Van Zile was aware of a Good Friday walk tradition in Carey, Ohio, and she wanted to bring it closer to home. The first year, in 1996, the Fayette Community Walk for Life started at the home of Jane and Bob Momyer and covered seven miles on the way into town. She cut it down to five miles by moving the start to the south shelter house at Harrison Lake.

A lenten lunch is eaten at Willie and Lucy Rodriguez’s home on the way into town, with food donated by parishioners.

Along the way, walkers take turns carrying a large cross made by Ron Eisel from trees in his woods.

Jerry Van Zile drove in front of the walkers Friday for safety in the snowstorm and Dorothy McDowell took her usual place at the back of the pack. Members of the church youth group help organize the annual event, Van Zile said, giving them exposure to working with the church.

“The walk is a sign of our respect for life and to recognize that life is a gift from God,” Van Zile said. “We invite others to walk with us, carry the weight of the wood and take time for reflection while doing so. The day is intended to share in friendships, for reflection and to make Good Friday something special.”

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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