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.”

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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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