Local parishioners, family, friends and even pets turned out Saturday morning to show their faith, have fun and support the upcoming school year by kicking off Sandusky Catholic Community Summer Fest with the Mile for Mary.
“I am here for our church, for our community and for Mary,” said Sue Daniel, a member of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church. “I walk every morning anyhow and this is a good cause.”
Patty Kessler and Mary Low Kirner, lifelong members of Holy Angels, also turned out to promote the faith.
It was about promoting the faith and honoring Mary while helping the school, they said.
Cindy McClung, one of the event organizers, was nervous as she watched people start to gather.
“I am always nervous. It's like waiting for guests for a party,” McClung said.
The Catholic community is made up of the parishes of Saint Mary, Holy Angels and Saints Peter and Paul church parking lot and the respective schools.
To honor Mary, they recited the Rosary at various stops along the mile-long route. The first decade of Rosary was recited in the opening remarks before the walk started at about 10 a.m., led by the Sandusky Central Catholic Schools Marching Panther's Band.
The second decade of the Rosary was recited at the SCCS school, with the third and fourth decades of the Rosary offered at St. Mary and Holy Angels Catholic Church respectively. The fifth (and last) decade of the Rosary was recited in the grassy area in front of St. Mary's Catholic Church before a choir sang and Summer Fest 2014 officially began at the school.
More walkers were picked up at each stop.
Homeowners along the route, hearing the band and the booming drums, stepped out on their porches to watch the Mile for Mary walk pass by.
That included Denise Greenawald who was with an excited Jaida Sperman outside a home on Jefferson Street. Sperman will be 2 in September, Greenawald said.
“She heard them coming a mile away,” Greenawald said.
Sperman's eyes were wide and bright as she watched the walk pass by. She was too distracted to answer anyone's questions about whether she liked the band or the balloons but the smile she wore said everything.
After the walk, Summer Fest began with chicken dinner served all day, games and raffles. Bands were scheduled to play throughout the day on the main stage.
Summer Fest is a fundraising opportunity for the clubs and sports teams, as well as other school organizations.