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