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.

  • 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.

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