November 2, 2021

Walking With Purpose: Thank you for stepping up this month!

As we conclude our inaugural Walking With Purpose challenge, we want to give a huge shout-out to everyone who participated. We are touched by the kindness, generosity and advocacy of so many. We are grateful for the support of CIS and the students we support in Kalamazoo.

We set a goal to walk 12,000 miles, which is symbolic of the 12,000 students who may benefit from the work we do in the Kalamazoo Public Schools. Twenty-four team captains stepped up and said, “let’s do this!” for our students and the future of our community. Each team captain went the extra mile to make this fun and meaningful for their team. And these amazing team captains brought together a small army of 240 walkers who joined a team (or two)!

Working together, we exceeded our goal and walked a total of 12,659 miles!

Thank you to our team captains who made this all possible!

  • 1000 Miles – Julie Lorenz
  • Aiello Family (Friends are Family Too) – Nicky Aiello
  • Bloopers – Melanie Bryce
  • Boardwalk – Susie Einspahr
  • CIS Volunteer Team – Pam Dalitz
  • CSM Group – Todd McDonald
  • CWS Team – Savannah Stuart and Lindsey Splendorio
  • Emerging Leaders – Moira Gilligan
  • Kalamazoo CIS Fifth Third – Alexis Duhon
  • Kazoo Kids 4 CIS – James and Tamisha Devers
  • My Sole Called Life – Lindsey Hemmerlein
  • Queens and Kings – Artrella Cohn
  • RTT Kzoo – Carmen James
  • Strolling For Students – Kim Nemire
  • Stuart Neighbors for Students – Kim Nemire
  • Team Lemons & Friends – Felicia Lemons
  • Team Tortoise – Perla Medina
  • Team Walk & Talk – Sara Ware
  • The Empowerment Center – Dalanna Robbson
  • The Kalamazoo Promise – Jacob Waggoner
  • The Saunterers – Jenna Cooperrider
  • TowerPinkster Walking Warriors – Jennifer Swan
  • Walk With Me (WWM) – Dr. John Oliver
  • Wonky Walkers – Heather Hayner
  • Woodward Wolves – Heather Gatton
  • Zetas R All N 4 Kids – Dalanna Robbson

Leading up to this initiative we asked our team captains, “What fuels your miles?” Their inspirational “why” was highlighted on our Facebook page throughout the month. Check it out! Here are just a few of their reasons “why”:

For the kids and for me! – Susie Einspahr

Knowing the difference CIS makes in the students at Edison Elementary School. – Todd McDonald

I walk so that students can fulfill their promise. – Jacob Waggoner 

To “pay it forward” to today’s generation of Kalamazoo children. I believe in the potential of our children and want to support their success because I went to the same schools, lived in the same neighborhoods, had the same dreams and had a village of caring adults that supported me during my journey to adulthood. – James Devers

Here at Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo (CIS), we understand the importance of “community”. A community joined for a common cause—to support students—so that they may walk at graduation and into a brighter future of their own design.

The walk teams also stepped up big by raising more than $26,000!

The teams also engaged their networks in supporting Walking With Purpose by inviting friends and family to support their miles with donations, raising more than $26,000! That’s enough for CIS to coordinate support for students in a school for a full year! Support that’s available for hundreds of students to help keep them on track toward graduation. If you would like to support Walking With Purpose, the donation page will be open until December 1st. We would be grateful for additional gifts to fund this important work. Here is the link.

Please join us in thanking our presenting sponsor, Ascension Borgess. Ascension Borgess took a leap of faith as the first sponsor of this brand-new effort. We are so glad they did. Thank you, Ascension Borgess, for believing in us, believing in the potential of students, and for stepping forward with us.

And thank you to our Walking With Purpose business sponsors.

CIS of Kalamazoo works directly inside 20 schools in Kalamazoo, connecting students to caring adults and community resources that help them see, confront, and overcome the barriers that stand between them and a brighter future. Thank you to all for stepping up to the challenge and supporting the work of CIS in our community and in the lives of Kalamazoo kids. We could not do this vital work without you.

Team Woodward, the recipient of this past week’s photo challenge for best team spirit!
Team Queens and Kings sporting their best spirit wear!
Team Emerging Leader members, surrounded by beautiful fall colors while walking with purpose.

Check out some of our previous blog postings throughout the month of October.

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