Many walk for warmth in the cold Saturday

MANISTEE — Despite below freezing temperatures and a steady flow of snowflakes, FiveCAP’s annual Walk for Warmth brought out a record crowd on Saturday, according the event organizers.

At the 22nd event, some were first-timers, and others were regulars who’ve been part of the event for up to 15 years.

“I think it’s worth keeping people warm, especially over the last couple days because it’s been so cold,” said Bruce Mikkelsen, of Wellston, a yearly participant.

The funds raised through Walk for Warmth are used by FiveCAP to provide heat assistance to families facing an emergency situation, who also don’t qualify for other state or federal programs. The Walk for Warmth fund serves as a safety net to ensure families can keep their homes warm all winter long.

More than 10 participants came as a group from Best Drug Rehab, and donated $500. Between 20-30 people participated in the walk.

“We have a few people who do it every year, and get pledge sheets ahead of time, some people will just walk with us without doing pledges,” said Julie Ingison, Walk for Warmth chair.

The turn out was good this year, she said. For the 2014 walk, there were only six participants.

Participants who register ahead of time collect pledges for their two mile walk, which takes the group down First Street to U.S. 31, where they walk north to River Street, west to Maple, south to Fifth Street, east to U.S. 31 and then take First Street back to the FiveCAP office, where refreshments are served.

“All the money goes toward helping low income families and seniors with heat costs when there’s no other option available,” Ingison said.

The Manistee FiveCAP raises around $2,000 each year, which can help a varying number of household depending on the type of fuel needed, she said.

The money raised through the Manistee event will stay in Manistee County to help local families.

The fundraising total was not available at press time.

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Posted by Justine McGuire

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