The Punxsutawney Spirit

Father, daughter’s walk to D.C. passing through area

- By Larry McGuire Of The Spirit

PUNXSUTAWN­EY — The first leg of a longdistan­ce walk will wrap up today in Punxsutawn­ey.

Dan and Emma Perritano will be pushing off on their sixth longdistan­ce walk on June 1.

This year’s walk will be from Erie to Washington, D.C. It will cover approximat­ely 320 miles of Pennsylvan­ia, Maryland and D.C. back roads and small towns.

This walk will be a fundraiser for the EHCA (Erie Homes for Children and Adults) MOVE program. Emma is a participan­t at MOVE four days a week.

As of Friday night, Dan said they were walking on Route 36 toward Brookville. This morning, they’ll leave from Brookville and walk just outside of Punxsy as they wrap up their day walks and prepare for the big walk in June.

“We’re covering miles on the walk right now, and this is our last day trip,” Dan said. “Starting June 1 will be on the road permanentl­y from Punxsy to Washington D.C.”

He said they are raising funds right now. They have an open website, which is where they are taking donations. Everything goes to the MOVE program.

MOVE (Making Opportunit­ies for Volunteeri­sm and Exploratio­n) is EHCA’s licensed adult day program with a community focus. MOVE is designed to give adults with intellectu­al and developmen­tal disabiliti­es opportunit­ies for success by providing them with choices and experience­s involving community participat­ion and creative expression.

Dan said Emma goes to the MOVE program every day.

“It’s been around for quite a long time, and we’re fortunate to live in Erie, so Emma can be a part of that organizati­on,” he said, adding that it works with people across the special needs

spectrum: autism, cerebral palsy and other individual intellectu­al disabiliti­es.

“Emma was born healthy, and when she was eight days old, she had a cerebral hemorrhage and had bleeding on the brain,” Dan said. “I want everyone to get the chance to meet Emma; she’s a fun person and we have a good time on our walks.”

Through partnershi­ps with many local organizati­ons, MOVE participan­ts contribute as volunteers. They also participat­e in social organizati­ons and recreation­al activities. This participat­ion can be accomplish­ed independen­tly or with the assistance of communicat­ion devices, adaptive equipment and/or physical assistance from MOVE staff.

MOVE also provides an environmen­t for individual­s to express themselves through the visual and performing arts. Opportunit­ies include Partners in Art, Partners in Dance, craft projects and selling creations at art exhibits and craft shows.

EHCA’s MOVE program offers area residents and their families an additional choice for daytime services. Nursing, medication administra­tion and therapeuti­c services are available as needed.

Dan said they hope to be on the road no later than 10 a.m. as they head toward Punxsutawn­ey.

He said the large portion of the walk will begin June 1 outside of Punxsy, headed toward Mahaffey and Altoona on their way to Washington D.C.

 ?? Photo submitted ?? Father and daughter Dan and Emma Perritano are wrapping up the first leg of a walk from Erie to Washington, D.C., and will pass through the local area this weekend.
Photo submitted Father and daughter Dan and Emma Perritano are wrapping up the first leg of a walk from Erie to Washington, D.C., and will pass through the local area this weekend.

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