Walk, friendly fundraising competition help Portage County children

Rachel Purget

LoveLight, Inc. teamed up with Kent State’s Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity for the 16th annual Walk For The Children on Sunday at 2 p.m. beginning at the Student Green.

Walk For The Children is a friendly competition between registered groups to benefit Portage County children, raising money for lunch and tutoring programs provided by LoveLight.

LoveLight director Lisbeth Justice also is part of the School of Foundations, Leadership, and Administration at Kent State.

“The purpose of the walk is to raise money for LoveLight programs, especially our summer lunch program for low-income children and ABCs of Fun, which is activities provided for the children,” Justice said. “Another program the walk will support is the Tutoring Plus program in which we try to identify and overcome any barriers to learning.”

LoveLight is a nonprofit organization based in Kent benefiting disadvantaged Portage County residents through health and education programs. The organization and Phi Iota Alpha paired up on accident. While at Wordsmith’s copy center, Huzziel Soto, a junior accounting major and president of Phi Iota Alpha, overheard Justice say she was looking for an on-campus group to partner with. Phi Iota Alpha’s national philanthropic beneficiary is UNICEF, so the group has always been dedicated to helping children.

“It was the right place and the right time,” Soto said. “I was printing and the lady, the head, came in and she was talking to another woman and she said ‘I can’t find a student organization,’ and so I said ‘I’m president of Phi Iota Alpha, let’s cosponsor,’ and from there we started talking, and now we’re here.”

The five members of Phi Iota Alpha are working hard to help the local nonprofit and expect at least 30 people to participate in the walk.

“We’re new on campus, so that would show that what matters is quality and not quantity. We’re not a fraternity that just likes to party and to drink, we like helping the children, we like doing everything for a good cause,” Soto said. “We’re encouraging students to be in good causes.”

If you want to help but can’t make the walk, donations will also be accepted by mail to LoveLight Inc., or you can contact Justice at 330-673-5839.

Contact Rachel Purget at [email protected].