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Run-Walk raised funds and awareness for United Way | News, sports, jobs

A STEP OUT FOR A REASON – Many backed Jefferson County’s United Road by running or walking the second 5K run of the Suzanne Kresser Memorial held Saturday at Jim Wood Park. The event is named after a former director of the organization who has been active in the community in many ways. – Warren Scott

STEUBENVILLE – The second Suzanne Kresser Memorial 5K Run-Walk Tour has raised funds for community agencies supported by the United Way of Jefferson County and awareness of these agencies, including other ways they may help.

About 100 area residents of all ages attended the event, which took place on Saturday at Jim Wood Park.

This year’s event also featured a 1K kids’ walk, a bounce house, yoga instruction, and drawings of various gift baskets sponsored by businesses, groups, and individuals in the area and local food trucks.

Laura Rauch, executive director of the Jefferson County United Way, noted that Kresser, a former director of the organization who also volunteered her time for many other causes, is remembered.

They included the Eastern Gateway Community College Foundation, the Trinity Health System Foundation, The Ohio State University Extension Service, American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, and Steubenville Nutcracker Village.

“My sister has always been very active in the community – anything she can do to help others,” Sherry Wilson, who added, “She would be very proud to see United Way do this in her honour.”

Kresser’s parents, Frank and Linda Swikowski, have been close to 11-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Annie, who has cared for her since Kresser’s death of brain cancer in 2021.

Frank said, “I think she’s great. People are very good at going out and supporting her. She’ll love it.”

Linda said several family members were present at the event while others living in Louisiana and Virginia were nearly supportive of him.

“This raises funds for many agencies that support people in need,” I noticed.

The 14 local agencies supported by the United Way of Jefferson County are: Smithfield Food Pantry, Family Recovery Center, Ohio Valley Health Center, Toronto Service Commission, ALIVE Shelter, A Child’s Place CASA, WEBA Outreach Food Pantry, American Red Cross of the River Valley Ohio, Jefferson County Community Action Council, Center for Advocacy for Children in a Care Place, Ohio Valley Youth Network, Family and Community Services, RSVP, Mary Seat School of Wisdom Montessori.

Several representatives were willing to share information about their operations, including how people could help by volunteering their time.

A newer aspect of it is the Senior Support Working Group, through which volunteers 55 and older deliver food to home-grown seniors in collaboration with the Salvation Army as well as make regular phone calls, said Marty Lake, coordinator of the Jefferson Columbiana Retirees and Senior Volunteers Program. to check on them.

Leake said she hopes to add transportation for medical appointments to her services, noting that local RSVP volunteers receive some mileage compensation and may receive additional health insurance at no cost.

Information about the program can be obtained by calling (330) 7877.

Rhonda Stubbs, executive director of iChild’s Place, said the agency is training volunteers to represent the interests of children involved in abuse and neglect cases.

She said the agency launched 22 years ago in Brooke and Hancock counties and expanded several years ago to Jefferson County, where it currently serves about 50 children.

Stubbs said volunteers undergo training through the agency and swear to keep the cases in which they are involved confidential.

Those interested can call (304) 737-4444 for information.

Bobbijon Bowman, director of the Sycamore Youth Center, said he and others have started Sycamore Corps, a program through which young people in middle and high school serve the community in various ways.

Bowman said young people often help out other nonprofit groups and learned new skills, such as carpentry while building picnic benches for Bright Promise.

Those interested in participating can call (740) 409-2968.

A $300,000 goal has been set for this year’s United Way campaign. Those interested in supporting the effort should call (740) 284-9000 or visit the United Way of Jefferson County at

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