Annual Heroes Walk draws donations

NAPPANEE — An estimated $1,080 was raised during the 2013 Nappanee Fallen Heroes Walk.
Sixteen individuals participated in the Saturday, May 18, event which featured walkers, joggers and bicyclists committed to traveling a four-mile route and raising money for the Indiana Police and Firemen Memorial in Indianapolis.
Those collecting the highest dollar amount in donations were awarded. Peggy Stover raised $575 to earn first place for the prize a $50 gift certificate from Newcomer Jewelers, Nappanee.
Tying for second place were Nappanee Police Chief Julie Dijkstra, and Michael George, a volunteer Nappanee fireman.
Each brought in $100 in donations.
Dijkstra earned a gift card worth $25 in free gas. George earned a $25 gift card donated by Rite Choice Foods.
An Applebees gift certificate and memorial walk T-shirt were awarded to third place winner Bethanie Kinkade.
The event is organized each year by MarahLee Nine, widow of Brant “Butch” Nine – a Nappanee police officer who died in the line of duty.
Darcy McPheeters, daughter of the fallen officer, and husband Burt McPheeters also assist in the planning.
Joining forces with the family to host the even each spring are John and Teresa Elliott.
John Elliott was the second Nappanee officer called to the scene where Butch Nine was gunned down.
Elliott remained with the fallen officer and rode in the ambulance with him to the hospital.
Nine died from the gunshot wounds suffered while answering a call for a person writing a check on an account with insufficient funds.
The Nappanee Fallen Heroes Walk is featured each May, beginning and ending in the Nappanee Nature Center, located on North Oakland Avenue/CR7, about a mile north of East Market Street/US6.
Donations collected from the event are given to the Indiana Police and Fire Memorial in Indianapolis.
The money is used to help add names of newly fallen officers and fire fighters each year and as well as assist with maintenance cost of the public memorial.