Brenda Pieplow Rupp running for Mattie 12.17.08

Written by David Green.

Brenda (Pieplow) Rupp ran a disappointing half-marathon in October, but she’s not letting that get her down. She’s back on the road every week preparing for a special run in January: the Walt Disney World Marathon.

She’s calling her effort the “Marathon for Mattie” to help out the family of her Morenci classmate, Duane Powell. Duane and his wife, Sara, remain in New York City where their daughter, Mattie, is undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

“I signed up for the Disney marathon after a disappointing one-half marathon run in the Detroit Marathon,” Brenda said.

She ran seven half-marathons last summer and was hoping for her best in Detroit when she got sick with a cold.

The principal at the school where she’s a student teacher encouraged to keep at it and go for the Disney Marathon. That sounded good for a while, until she thought about the time demands.

But then she thought about someone else.

“I heard about Duane's situation in New York that I found myself re-inspired to take on this demanding adventure,” Brenda said.  “Duane and I graduated together and we both attended the youth group at Morenci Bible Fellowship and I see him occasionally when I come back home to Morenci.”

Five other classmates were visiting the Rupps in Westland—an annual girls night out—and they started thinking about ways to help the Powell family with the costs of staying at the New York City Ronald McDonald House.

“We were just going to ask a few local groups for donations or even see if there were people willing to donate to help get this family through the next couple of months,” Brenda said. “I never dreamed the word would get out this much.”

She’s a little surprised by her decision to run, too.

“I am not a cold weather kind of girl and it is amazing that I am spending approximately five hours every Saturday putting in long runs to train for this marathon,” she said.

But she says Duane is the sort of person who would take the shirt off his back to help anyone in need, and she sees running as a good way for her to help out.

Brenda and her classmates would like any donations to go directly to the fund for the Powells: Mattie Powell Fund, First Federal Bank, Attn: Sandy Howard, 211 S. Fulton St., Wauseon, OH 43567.

“I just want to help out a friend and his family,” Brenda said.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017