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Day 17: Voices for Independence


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 17

Walking for Voices For Independence
We covered around 10 miles and then walked with Voices.
Only one picture needed for todays story. Great support today from an outstanding Erie organization. The picture says it all! Great solidarity, wonderful mission all in support of our special community here in Erie. Please consider supporting them by using the link below.
Finally, we are considering keeping Emma off the road Wednesday because of expected temps. In the spirit of fun I am offering the seat in Emma’s buggy to the highest bidder.
We will start the bidding at $50 which of course goes to Voices.
You can bid in the comments section. Please share this post and let’s see if we can stir up some bids/fun.

Day 16: Voices for Independence


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 16

Walking for Voices For Independence here in Erie!
We are moving onto our next organization. See below.
Big day tomorrow, with a send of from Voices. We will be out early to beat the heat. 
Today we started at Presque Isle and  finished at Nostrovia Brewing Co.
near our home on Bonnie Brae. We enjoyed a Sunday beer with 
Tamberly Fornari, Roz Fornari, Jane Brady and Claire Perritano.
We covered about 10 miles and once again felt that a change away from the peninsula would benefit both of us. PI is very crowded on the weekends. 
We walked through downtown Erie, taking a brief rest in Perry Square, before finishing on East Lake Road in Harborcreek. 
We will monitor the weather closely and will most likely be walking early or late to protect Emma from the extreme heat we expect to see this week. Please consider joining us this week. 
Finally, use the link below to learn more about Voices for Independence  and to donate to their organization. We will share more about what they do here in Erie this entire week.

Day 15: Make-A-Wish Foundation


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 15

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania & Southern W Virginia
We walked the 11.5 miles from our home in Harborcreek to Sara's Restaurant.  It’s great to walk along Erie’s bayfront. For the out of town folks Presque Isle is across the bay and we essentially walked a big horseshoe with PI across from us. On a side/personal note it’s also a great location for a family reunion. 
As we are walking in the thick of Erie Emma does get recognized a lot. Shout out to John and Darlene for driving by yelling a hello to Emma and 30 minutes and a few miles down the road they delivered dinner to us along with a donation. Very generous of them, thanks so much. 
The added bonus, John is a Queens native (retired NYC firefighter) so we all got to reminisce about New York for a bit, made our night. In fact we may do the route in reverse Sunday morning. 
One more day with Make-A-Wish and then a it’s onto Voices For Independence.
Finally, we have a big crew who we are excited to walk with tomorrow. Stay tuned. 

Day 14: Sara's Challenge


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 14

Emma and Dan’s  “Sara’s Challenge” today only. 
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania & Southern W Virginia 
Different miles today which has Emma excited. Why? 
Treats at the end! 

Day 13: Make-A-Wish Foundation


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 13 

Supporting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania & Southern W Virginia
Another fantastic weather day on PI. 
We were joined by former and current Regional Managers of Make-A-Wish. 
Thanks to Jan Stork and Courtney Nientimp for the company and conversation. Jan was Emma’s Wish coordinator and is now retired. 
Courtney covered all of the almost 13 miles. We learned a lot from both about the mission both locally and nationally of MAW. 
Let’s push the number over $1000 today. You can see the donation number by using the link below and scrolling to the bottom. 
We are changing up our route and time for Friday. We will be walking from our home in Harborcreek to PI specifically Sara's Restaurant. It is about the same distance we have been covering.  A change of pace will refresh us both! We hope to depart late afternoon when Emma gets home on the EMTA (On The Bus) Lift from MOVE. 
We will also most likely have to account for the  anticipated warmer weather rolling in Sunday.  Stay tuned and please consider a donation!!

Day 12: Make-A-Wish Foundation


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 12

Walking for  Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania & Southern W Virginia
Courtney Nientimp from Make-A—Wish joined us today with daughter Evelyn. We will be seeing more of them this week. We also started out with our regular visitor Kim Serafin. 
Quick and uneventful miles today. 
Schedule for Thursday is a 10am push off and Friday a late 5pm departure. Enjoy our Wish pics from Give Kids The World from a few years ago, 
Emma and I are off to Blossom Music Center tonight for Styx and Foreigner….Emma will be rocking!!! 
Please consider a donation using the link below. 

Day 11: Make-A-Wish Foundation


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 11

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania & Southern W Virginia
A fairly uneventful day except that Emma has decided to abandon our walk for a permanent job on the PI road crew, see the pictures. 
We truly enjoy what we do and have been getting asked how we are holding up after 11 days and over 140 miles. Well so far so good!!  Ice, rest, Alleve, and a great attitude from Emma makes the miles fly by. 
630am start time Wednesday parking lot one, and then we are off to a concert in Akron!
Foreigner and Styx. 
Please help make a wish come true by donating, see link below. 
Emma’s did a few years ago.;jsessionid=00000000...

Day 10: Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA)


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 10

Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge
Final day walking for  Erie Homes for Children and Adults, Inc. (EHCA)
MOVE program. 
A chilly but beautiful start on the lake side. 
The donation links for each organization will remain open until July but please consider donating to EHCA today!! 
Tomorrow we hope to be out early once again and are very appreciative of our regular walking companion Kim Serafin.  we now move onto supporting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania & Southern W Virginia like our family hers is a Make-A-Wish family. 
Thanks to Emma’s EHCA lifeshare coordinator Kelly K. who walked with us, and a big thank you to Shelby Terry Leigh and Cindy Lou Synder who pulled over and donated today. 
Please join them by using the QR code to link up and donate.

Day 9: Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA)


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 9

Great weather, dogs, and the Erie Roller Derby Women!! 
Supporting Erie Homes for Children and Adults, Inc. (EHCA) specifically MOVE.
Another day of easy miles and fun with Emma. One more day  of walking on behalf of EHCA and we move onto Make A Wish, more on that tomorrow. 
We started off with a visit from ENN Elspeth Mizner who interviewed us for an update which will be aired tonight on Wicu 12 NBC. Thanks also to the crew from the EHCA home on 38th St. They popped up at the start of our walk. 
We also stumbled across the women of Erie Roller Derby. A very 70’s sport, brutal  as well as  entertaining. The women spent some time with Emma and gave us an invite to their game (I think you call it that) at the Erie Convention Center on June 29th. 
Please consider supporting MOVE. Use the link in the last picture (QR code). 
We are scheduled to go off at 7am Monday, please message us if you are planning on walking with us as we may go off a bit earlier. 
Have a great start to your week and enjoy the doggie pics!!

Day 8: Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA)


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 8

Erie Homes for Children and Adults, Inc. (EHCA) specifically MOVE!! 
We were joined by an outstanding crew of friends today. Led by Emma’s bestie Kelly Wilson who pushed her the entire way. Emma is always happy, but really shines when Kelly and her hang. 
We were also fortunate to be joined by Dave and Debra Niland. Debra runs MOVE(you met her earlier this week) and Dave who is the longtime Behrend hoops coach. 
Also guest walking with us were Mark and Kelly Maurer. Mark and Kelly are the parents of Penn State Behrend Men’s Soccer legend Ryan Maurer. 
Let’s not forget Jane Brady the mommy. 
A reminder you can donate using the website or the QR code on the last picture. 
Walking schedule for next week!!
Sunday 930am 
Monday 7am 
Tuesday 7am
Wednesday 6am….we hope 
Thursday 5pm yes a late day push off. 
Friday TBA as one of us has a root canal. 
Saturday TBA

Day 7: Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA)


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 7

Supporting Erie Homes for Children and Adults, Inc. (EHCA)Homes MOVE. 
91.7 miles in and we are both feeling pretty good.
Another visit from Emma’s MOVE buddies today. She has truly enjoyed showing them what she does and walking side by side with all
of them. Thanks guys!!! 
Cool weather and a later start than normal as we forgot the buggy at home. It took us halfway there to realize it. No Biggie says Emma. 
We are officially one week in and are looking forward to a 10am start Saturday. While Emma doesn’t sleep in (heck some nights she doesn’t even sleep) it will be nice to stay at home a bit longer in the morning. 
We ran into Pete the owner of Competitive Gear who was out riding the peninsula today. Pete is always spot on with advice and does look over the buggy once a year for us. 
We ambled along with the lake on our left again with strong winds and whitecaps all morning. 
Finally, the MOVE staff has created a monster as Emma and that cowbell are inseparable. If you are anywhere on PI this weekend you will be sure to hear this thing. Christopher Walken would be proud.  
You can use the QR code on the last picture to learn more about EHCA MOVE and of course donate. 
Hope to see you this weekend at PI.

Day 6: Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA)


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 6

Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge 
Supporting The EHCA MOVE Program for the next 5 days!
Erie Homes for Children and Adults, Inc. (EHCA)
Pictures tell a thousand words! Emma’s crew from the EHCA MOVE Program joined us today and we all had a blast!! The MOVE is EHCA’s day program that Emma attends. 
The program is organized by Debra Niland and staff. Emma looks forward every day to taking the EMTA Lift from our front door to the MOVE building on the west side of Erie. Use the links below to learn more and note that your donation will go a very long way in adding to an already great experience the attendees all have. 
Emma was so happy to see her peers today and while she is non verbal she does sign a bit and when they left us today she kept signing  for more. We suspect we will hang with them again out at PI. They bought energy and enthusiasm along with some wonderful signs. Thanks everyone!! 
you can use the QR code in the pictures below to donate.

Day 5: Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA)


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 5

Emma 5 
Birds 0 though they were out in numbers today. 
Miles 12.9 
An early start and rain the final mile today. 
We will be moving onto our next local organization Thursday, this is the final day to support the The Arc of Erie.  
We  flew through today’s miles as the threat of rain loomed over the peninsula all morning. 
We are excited for a big group of walkers and supporters Thursday morning. More on that tomorrow. We  are both feeling a bit fatigued so we will start a bit later tomorow. Look for us starting from lot one around 9am. 
Thanks to Arc for having us walk for you. And let’s go Erie Homes for Children and Adults, Inc. (EHCA) Move program!!! Emma is a partipant and attends MOVE everyday. More on them Thursday.

Day 4: The Arc of Erie


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 4


Emma 4
Birds 0 
Supporting the The Arc of Erie. 
13 very steamy miles this morning with a 7am push off from parking lot one. 
We are starting to get a bit faster now, finishing in 3:45. We walked clock wise today with the lake and bay on our left the entire time. We were once again joined by the McDowell Life Skills class led by Emily Kitcho, Nicole R., and Joe Kaufer who took many of the pictures you see below. Thanks for coming out again!!! 
Erie is an exceptional community for adults, children, and families with special needs. We are very fortunate to live here and hope you decide to support one of the six local organizations we will be walking for this month. For one more day we are walking for The Arc and on Thursday we will “move”onto EHCA more specifically the MOVE program that Emma attends. We saw many EHCA vehicles today at PI,  see pictures below. 
Finally, we received a lot of hellos and beeps today as people saw Emma on Wicu 12 NBC! 
Link below to donate!!! 
We love guest walkers so come join us. Message us for details. 
We hope to pick off by 6:30am Wednesday!

Day 3: Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA)


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 3

13 easy miles! 
Emma 3 - Birds 0
We had quite a few guest walkers with us today. We started off today at 7am with longtime friend and fellow special needs parent Kim Serafin and Arc representative Katherine Reim, thank you guys. Great weather and a fired up Emma had us firing on all cylinders. We played all of Emma’s favorites on spotify, including the Beatles and Taylor Swift. While Emma is non verbal she does have an ability to sing and is quite a savant with lyrics by vocalizing and signing. 
Thanks also goes out to Emily Kitchowho came out and walked with her life skills students from McDowell High School. Thanks for the company!!!  
Finally, long time supporter and WICU-TV Channel 12 Erie News Now News anchor Mike Ruzzi came out and interviewed us. We will post the story later this week. Thanks Mike! 
Two more days and we will be walking for a different organization so you are welcome to support the Arc. See links below.
New guest walkers will be revealed tomorrow!

Day 2: The Arc of Erie


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 2

Rain, Mosquitos , Rain, Turtles, Rain and Happy Miles. 
If you have been in Emma’s company you quickly realize that only three things dampen her spirits. Mascots, dogs, and going to bed. Walking in the rain today didn’t set her back as she had a blast. While we got off to a late start because of the rain we did finally push off from parking lot one and covered the 13.1 miles in just under four stop and go hours. PI was quiet today as the rain kept people inside. 
We  did get some roadside help in the way of bug spray and a donated umbrella, pictured. Emma Poppins thought the umbrella was hilarious and it did make a difference for her. We also received  our first road side donation: Thanks Sandy from Union City. Also thanks to Park Ranger Smith who helped us out with bug spray. 
Bird update:
Emma 2 The birds 0 
Busy day tomorrow, we start walking at  7am if anyone wants to join us and then we have an assembly at Belle Valley Elementary School at 2pm.
A reminder you can donate to Arc through Wednesday using the link below.

Day 1: The Arc of Erie


Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge Day 1

Our annual walk has begun! We are staying local here in Erie, PA.
Presque Isle State Park for those not here in Erie is a gem, the final picture will show you the geography of the park. It is a peninsula that supports the bay on the south and has Lake Erie on the north. Our walk will cover the peninsula all thirteen miles of it each day. 
We will be walking for six different local non profits. Today we are walking for The Arc of Erie County. 
You can use the link below to learn about their mission and how to donate. 
We are very grateful to Katherine Reim representing ARC who came out and covered all thirteen miles with us. Also covering all thirteen was Jane Brady though that wasn’t the plan at the start. Nice job Katherine and Jane!! 
We were also joined by soon to be fellow Penn State Behrend retiree Ken Bauer and his doggie Tucker. Thanks Ken and Tucker. 
Awesome weather we hope will be the norm as we repeat this walk over the entire month of June. 
This walk promises to be much different than our previous walks for a number of reasons. First we get to stay at home. Secondly we expect a lot of local “guest walkers” and finally we won’t have to battle cars and trucks. But we will have to battle to attacking black birds that PI is famous for. They are known to swoop down and have a peck or two on your head. Today it was Emma 1-0 over the birds. We will be keeping score the entire month so stay tuned. 
Finally, the links are  below. We walk because we love it but also to help local non profits. We will be walking for five other organizations. Please feel free to support the Arc or one of the other organizations we will be introducing too soon. If you do support the Arc, list Emma as the honoree. 
Thanks in advance and stay tuned for more stories from PI.

Emma and Dan’s Presque Isle Challenge



JUNE 1, 2024

Grass Roots Garden 15k - Niagara Falls


May 18, 2024 

This past Saturday, we competed in the Grass Roots 15k along the Niagara River onto Goat Island, and past Niagara Falls. Great weather and a happy Emma made this a fun day. Looking forward to our next outing. Next up: Buffalo Half Marathon on Sunday, May 26, 2024. Follow along for more updates!

A Great Weekend in NYC

May 5, 2024 at 9:37 p.m.

A great weekend in NYC as we traveled out to attempt the Great Saunter! A 32 mile one day walk around the great island of Manhattan. We ambled our way up the westside with the Hudson River on our left, under the George Washington Bridge, through Inwood Park, down through the streets of Harlem and finally down the eastside finishing in around eleven hours. We met tons of great people from all over the world and received great support from the wonderful people of Shorewalkers Inc. A special shoutout to Jane Brady who flew out Saturday morning and met us at the halfway point and covered 16 miles with us.  Also hometown, Valhalla NY friend Tom Rooney who walked the first 16 with us.

And a final shoutout to our new friends Mary and Missy who befriended Emma and I and helped keep Emma company on Friday. 

This is a very special event that Emma and I will certainly do again soon!!

Next up is our annual summer walk beginning June 1, 2024. (Emma and Dan's Presque Isle Challenge) see below.


We are getting ready for our first big Spring 2024 event. We will be walking in the Great Saunter in NYC on May 4th. Stay tuned here for pictures and updates. To learn more about this wonderful event use the link below.

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