Sussex County Easterseals event raises over $50K

Over 200 people participate at Baywood Greens walk/run

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More than 200 runners and walkers enjoyed a brilliant fall day at the eighth annual Walk with Me 5K event Sunday afternoon at Baywood Greens in Long Neck.

The event raised over $50,000 for Easterseals of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Easterseals is the country’s largest non-profit healthcare organization.

“It’s a fundraiser and fun fundraiser,” said Easterseals of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore board member David Doane, “And while it’s important to raise money, it’s just as important to raise awareness for Easterseals. When you ask somebody about Easterseals, they may know about one of the things it does, but Easterseals has so many different programs helping so many people, we want people to be aware of everything.”

Easterseals services include early intervention, inclusive childcare, medical rehabilitation and autism services for young children and their families; job training and coaching, employment placement and transportation services for adults with disabilities, including veterans; adult day services and employment opportunities for older adults – in addition to a variety of additional services for people of all ages including mental health and recovery programs, assistive technology, camp and recreation, caregiving support including respite – and much more.

“The Walk with Me event is such a meaningful event for the Easterseals community,” said Tracy Lewis, whose son, James, is the ambassador for the Walk with Me event. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to raise funds for critical services for children as well as adults in this community so they can thrive. It’s just such an amazing event for the entire community.”

Doane noted that the event gets a big boost from the Tunnell family, who owns Baywood Greens.

“They are just wonderful to us,” he said of the Tunnells. “They allow us to come out here on a Sunday afternoon, which would typically be a big golf day for them and allow us to use the course for this.”

The Tunnell family also donated $10,000 to the event in a ceremony before the 5K began.

While Easterseals has many events in New Castle and Kent County as well as the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Walk with Me, Doane explained, is unique to Sussex County.

“This really is a Sussex County event,” he said. “We do have other events throughout the state and region, but it’s nice to have one right here in Sussex County.”

In addition to the 5K walk/run, the event had face painting and other children’s games, a Delaware State Police helicopter and K-9 unit and the Cape Henlopen High Junior ROTC unit. SoDel Concepts, which runs the Clubhouse at Baywood Greens, provided boxed lunches for all participants.