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Published:September 16th, 2008 22:58 EST
Loop walk kicks off Character Education Week

Loop walk kicks off Character Education Week

By Hedy Phillips

The Orrville community kicked off Character Education Week with a loop walk around town Thursday night.


Special guest Robert Camp, Miss Ohio 2007, was on hand to take pictures and sign autographs with participants. 


Camp, whose reign ended in June, is a member of the Ohio Character Education Partnership Board and wanted to be a part of Character Education week for a few reasons.


Character education was my platform as Miss Ohio, and I think when the board heard about that they said, "Hey, we could use her! `" she said.  I came to Orrville because I had heard it is a character-based community, and I wanted to be a part of it."


Each week the loop walk is sponsored by a different community organization.  This walk was sponsored by the city police, fire department and government. 


Mayor Dave Handwerk said: As a sponsor, you want to bring in as many people as possible, that`s why we called Miss Camp.  Because it is the beginning of Character Education Week, we wanted to target the students, and they really enjoy her."


Handwerk said as part of the Character Education Board, Camp visited the Orrville schools in April.  While wearing her crown, which she is no longer allowed to do, she spoke with the students about the importance of character.  She said their enthusiasm also was a reason she wanted to come back to Orrville.


She signed autographs after participants completed the walk, which began at Heartland Point, went up Main Street, up High Street, down Crown Hill Road, down Market Street and back up Main Street to Heartland Point.


The walk not only kicked off Character Education Week, it also is held weekly as part of Growing Healthy Habits, a community program to promote good health.  Growing Healthy Habits was started by Dr. Andy Naumoff with the help of Dunlap Memorial Hospital. 


Participants in the Lose-a-Ton Win-a-Ton contest picked up their team shirts as a kick off to their contest as well.


Thursday`s walk had about 220 participants, which is the largest turn out to date.


We`re hoping for more than 200 people," Handwerk said before the walk started.  If we get more than that, we`ll be really excited."


Orrville`s Character Education Week is a part of the Heartland Education Community, Inc.  The week concludes Sept. 19.