By Susan Ketchum
PARMA -- Students at Dentzler Elementary School will put their feet to the pavement in support of veterans and their families.
The Veterans Day walk on Nov. 9 will help raise money for the Greater Cleveland Fisher House, which will offer free housing for families of veterans who are undergoing treatment at the Louis B. Stokes Veterans Hospital in Cleveland. The Fisher House program, similar to Ronald McDonald House, already has more than 50 homes in operation across the country, including one in Cincinnati.
The school set a goal to raise at least $500 to help build a Fisher House in Cleveland. Students have asked for pledges from family and friends. Those who are able will pay at least $1 to walk almost a mile around the school.
Veterans are invited to join the children on the walk, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., following an all-school assembly at 10. The assembly will include patriotic songs and a photo presentation of family and friends of students and staff who have served in the military.
The walk was the suggestion of third-grade teacher Jean Paulus, whose son is in the Navy and nephew is in the Marines.
“Both of them have friends who have been injured in Iraq or Afghanistan, and Fisher House has been a godsend to their families,” Paulus said. “The families can stay there as long as they need.”
She looked into the program, and discovered the Cleveland house will not be restricted to active-duty military, but will include families of any veteran. Plans are in place for it to be built in 2013, as soon as the money is raised. Visit greaterclevelandfisherhouse.org.
“We always do something for Veterans Day. I thought, why not help people here?” she said.
Veterans who would like to walk with the students, or anyone who would like to donate to the Cleveland Fisher House, should call 440-885-2426. The school is located at 3600 Dentzler Road in Parma.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski