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Norwalk Teen Launches Walk-A-Thon For Homeless

St. Luke's seniors, Marissa Ruschil, left, and Elizabeth Guillen of Norwalk lead the walk-a-thon.
St. Luke's seniors, Marissa Ruschil, left, and Elizabeth Guillen of Norwalk lead the walk-a-thon. Photo Credit: St. Luke's Juliana Soltys '15

NORWALK, Conn. -- Under the leadership of a Norwalk teenager, a group of students, faculty and parents from St. Luke's School in New Canaan and Inspirica supporters took part in the 2nd Annual 5K One Step Closer to Home Walk-A-Thon.

The goal was to raise money and awareness to help Inspirica’s fight against homelessness, and the 180 walkers raised more the $19,000.

The idea for the joint walk-a-thon began when St. Luke’s and Inspirica embarked on a strategic partnership in the summer of 2012. The first walk was launched in October 2013, under the leadership of two St. Luke's seniors — Norwalk resident Elizabeth Guillen and Katonah, N.Y., resident Marissa Ruschil — and the support of Kate Parker-Burgard, St. Luke’s director of character education, and Kelly Leather, director of Inspirica’s events and communications.

“People really want to help and are more than willing to donate. It’s important we all remember that homelessness comes from all walks of life, no matter where you come from, anyone can become homeless,” Guillen said.

Ruschil said, "The second annual walk-a-thon was a great, successful event to bring the St. Luke's and Inspirica communities together. I cannot believe one idea could turn into such a huge event so fast."

This year's walk was held on Sunday, Oct. 5.

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