By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — The threat of thunderstorms and warm weather did not deter participants at the 14th annual Stop The Hate/ Show the Love Peace Walk.
Instead of walking from Clinton Community College to Ashford University, Thursday’s event was modified to circle the block around the community college. Carrying banners and homemade peace posters, a crowd of people made the walk.
CCC President Karen Vickers said the weather was a good reminder that people do not have a lot of control in their lives. She added this walk is a path toward a peaceful and more tolerant community.
“Peace begins with one of us,” said Vickers, adding that everyone’s appearance at the walk is a testament to this.
The peace walk is held each year on the Thursday closest to the U. N. International Day of Peace on Sept. 21. This walk is organized by the Clinton Peace Coalition, which includes members from Clinton Community College, Sisters of St. Francis, YWCA, Ashford University, Prince of Peace Schools and the Unity Center of Clinton.
The event started at CCC, with face painting and story time for children attending the walk. Another table allowed children to create peace-oriented posters. Marion Johnson allowed children to help her release Monarchs raised at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum.
Event Committee Chairwoman Mardell Mommsen said the event continues to grow. She said people come to support peace for a variety of reasons; including the stoppage of wars, decreasing incidents of bullying or a personal struggle.
“But we’re here united and they know they are not alone,” Mommsen said.
Laura Anderson, from the coalition, presented a peace pole to CCC. More than 200,000 poles stand in almost every country across the world as a reminder in promoting peace. Ashford University Dean of Busines and Professional Studies Charles Minnick reminded participants that peace and freedom must walk together.
“So I hope you all find peace in your heart as we all stop the hate and show the love.
CLINTON -- A tribute ceremony in honor of the late Sallyann McCarthy was held at Thursday's Peace Walk. Event Chairwoman Mardell Mommsen said she was lucky to know Sallyann, who served as the director of communications of the Sisters of St. Francis, the co-coordinator of the Clinton Franciscan Center for Active Non-Violence and Peacemaking and was a member of Clinton Peace Coalition. She was involved in the walk for years and worked to support peace and tolerance. Sallyann also was a member of National Communicators Network for Women Religious, a founding member of Sisters United News of the Upper Mississippi River Valley and was an associate partner to the Sisters of St. Francis for five years. She also was active in the Prince of Peace Parish. She received the YWCA Women of Achievement Award in 1987 and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Peace and Justice Award in 2012. "But beyond being an inspirational community member and collaborator, she was a friend," Mommsen said. With tears visible in her eyes and a choked-up voice, Mommsen presented a miniature peace pole to Sallyann's husband Bob McCarthy. McCarthy was touched to see his late wife honored by an organization and event that she truly believed in. "I thought it was a tremendous gesture on everybody's part," McCarthy said. "It means so much."