Senior walkathon set June 7 |

Senior walkathon set June 7

Joyce Hollister

Over 20 years ago, a walkathon raised funds for the Young at Heart Club and the Carson Valley’s first senior citizens center.

Young and old entered the event and money came from sponsors – individuals and commercial enterprises. The total raised was nearly $2,000, not much by today’s standards but a hefty sum in 1976.

Walkers in the 1976 event, among them Lena and Harold Prara and Sherwin and Eloise Kettenburg, are likely to be back on June 7 as the Douglas County Senior Services holds the “Walk the Carson Valley for Seniors” 1997 walkathon, a 20th anniversary celebration.

As R-C’s editor Sally Lyda wrote in the July 22, 1976 issue that covered the walkathon, some donors gave gifts to be used as prizes for special achievements on the walk.

Among those earning special prizes was the senior who worked at a Carson City market on the graveyard shift until 8 a.m., then drove to Gardnerville and covered the entire 10-mile course.

The Kettenburgs walked the 10 miles hand in hand. The only sponsor either had was each other, and each wrote a check for $20 in the other’s name.

The June 7 event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the senior center parking lot, 2300 Meadow Lane, Gardnerville. Walkers will obtain sponsors to pay for them so much a mile. Money raised will be used to purchase a much-needed vehicle to transport seniors, a storage shed and ice machine, according to Esther Hildebrand, one of the organizers.

Water stops are planned along the route, and one of the most spectacular will be located at Rafter D Llamas on Orchard Road. Dick and Carolyn Denning’s llamas will be available for petting as walkers stop for refreshment.

Two courses are offered:

n The short course goes from the parking lot through Lampe Park, left on Waterloo Lane to Toler Avenue, then left on Orchard Road to Rafter D Llamas; return to Lampe Park.

n The full course will have walkers continue down Orchard Road after the llama farm stop to Buckeye Road, then to U.S. 395 and south to Gilman Avenue (at Sharkey’s), Douglas Avenue, and then down Meadow Lane back to the senior center parking lot.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a walker, walking or helping, may call Hildebrand at 265-2312 or senior services supervisor Kathy Maidlow at 782-8267.