Raising money to benefit Orange Township’s Veterans Memorial, Blue Star Mothers of America and Honor Flight, Olentangy Orange Middle School students participated in the second annual Honor Walk last week.
Last year students, raised approximately $9,000 that was divided between the memorial and Honor Flight.
“Looks like we’ll be right around that again this year,” said Kristen Marconi, social studies teacher at OOMS. “We have surpassed our goal of $5,000 for the Honor Walk, so all students will be walking today in honor or in memory of a veteran or an active duty service member in their lives.”
Students spent their social studies period last Friday walking from the school track to the planned site for the Orange Township Veterans Memorial at the corner of South Old State Road and Orange Road. Marconi said students were encouraged to ask family and friends for a $5 donation to sponsor them on the walk.
Orange High School student Amelia Dewey’s design, Heroes Not Forgotten, was chosen in 2013 for the memorial.
Pinned to the back of each middle school student were the names of veterans to whom they dedicated their walk.
“The goal was to walk a mile,” Marconi said. She told the students that they were walking to honor those who protected their rights and freedoms. She wanted them to especially keep in mind the Ohio Army National Guard’s HHC 371st Sustainment Brigade currently deployed in Kuwait, which flew an American flag in honor of the school’s walk.
“The flag will then be sent to our school for our Veterans breakfast and celebration,” she said. “After the celebration, the flag will be displayed in the atrium as a constant reminder to us and our community of the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform make every single day.”
Amanda Sheterom, Orange Township’s communication manager, said students donated $5,505 from the 2016 Honor Walk and other fundraisers for the township memorial.
“The contribution included money raised from the sale of patriotic shirts to staff, students, and community members,”she said. “American flags purchased by students and staff members were placed outside the school in honor of a veteran in their life.”
Sheterom said construction of the memorial was to begin sometime this year, but has been delayed because of the road construction on the corner of South Old State and Orange Road. Once the road work is complete, construction of the veterans memorial can start. She said the cost of the memorial is just under $400,000.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.