Walkers show support of Care Net of Carbon County
Care Net of Carbon County Director Suzi DeMara speaks to the walkers and runners gathered for Saturday’s 5K. DANIELLE DERRICKSON/TIMES NEWS
Marion Campbell, left, and Jill Tarr walk the gravel trail during Care Net’s 5K fundraiser.
Marty Buss, a Care Net board member, says a prayer before kicking off the organization’s 5K event in Penn Forest Township.
More than 50 people registered to walk the gravel trail at Penn Forest Township Recreational Park in Jim Thorpe Saturday, strutting their support for Care Net of Carbon County during its 5K walk/run.
“It’s an encouragement to us,” Care Net of Carbon County Director Suzi DeMara said. “It encourages my heart to keep doing what we’re doing.
“This event helps us to keep our doors open so that we can continue to help people.”
Care Net, a faith-based organization, offers counseling and resources for women who are pregnant, families, individuals and at-risk youth. DeMara said other than the five employees on its payroll, Care Net survives on volunteers.
Sharon Stettler, who was charged with organizing the 5K, was one of those volunteers.
“I just think they’re just doing such a fantastic job,” Stettler said. “The need is really there.”
The trek took participants around the park three times. Each racer was given an event T-shirt. After crossing the finish line, they were awarded a medal.
Money raised last weekend will go toward turning the Care Net in Nesquehoning into a medical center, where women will be able to have “free, limited obstetrical ultrasounds,” DeMara said.
“Lord, as we align our thoughts with your thoughts, Father, may we be able to share the truth, that you are the creator, and that we’re designed for a purpose,” Marty Buss, a Care Net board member, said in prayer before kicking off the walk.
Jill Tarr and Marion Campbell, of Bear Creek Lakes, were two people walking the trail Saturday. They have been longtime supporters of Care Net; Tarr volunteered with the organization during its early years. Both retired nurses, Campbell and Tarr met 30 years ago in Carbon County.
Campbell and Tarr share another commonality: They both found out they were pregnant at 19 years old.
“I was a teenage mom … and I remember feeling grateful that I didn’t have to do an abortion, that my parents supported me,” Campbell said. “It made a big difference.”
Tarr said she was married and in her first year of college when she discovered she was pregnant. She said abortion is a “hot, hot topic,” where “most people are either on one side or the other.”
For Tarr, last weekend’s walk was a chance to support an organization she’s believed in for years.
“I just wish more people would come out,” she said.