I wanted to thank the many local businesses and people that assisted with the PUSH America/ Journey of Hope visit to Marshalltown on July 14. Arc of Marshall County has sponsored this great group of young men for the last 26 years. Mike Donahey wrote a really good article about their fellowship visit for the Times-Republican on July 15. They rolled into town around 11 a.m. Sunday for a lunch from Sub City served by Jenni Hart and Wendy Beckman who coordinate Camp Marshalltown an Arc summer day camp for school-aged kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The bikers then enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon at the Marshalltown Aquatic Center swimming with kids from the summer day camp.
The evening's activities included an excellent dinner provided by Smokin' G's for 170 people. About 100 of them were individuals with intellectual disabilities from Marshall County. It also included bowling, dancing and camaraderie with the 35 young men from PUSH. Laird Hodges provided the dance music for this event. This activity would not have been possible without the generous donation from Mechdyne. Mayor Thompson was also on hand to provide the group with a proclamation, officially making July 14, 2013 PUSH America day in Marshalltown.
My husband, three daughters, their husbands / boyfriends, my sister and her family, and my dad, Rod Western (who coordinated this visit with Al Fagerlund for 21 of the 26 years they have stopped in Marshalltown) all coordinated activities, helped with setup, cleanup, running errands, etc. Their involvement means the world to me and I couldn't do it without their help! This is such a worthy cause and we all enjoy being a part of it.
Following their evening festivities, the bikers and staff were treated to a great night's stay at the Comfort Inn sponsored by Emerson Process Management - Fisher Controls. Many thanks to Bruce Johnson and Paul Gregoire for the accommodations they more than appreciated the comfortable beds and air conditioning, as they mentioned they get very few opportunities to sleep in "real" beds on their 4000-mile journey across the United States.
Thank you to all who were involved with the planning, organizing and funding for this awesome event! Speaking for all of the Arc of Marshall County participants your assistance was greatly appreciated.