Big Step Walk to support education for students with disabilities

Kent County

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WOOD) — If you’re looking for a fun, free way to get active and support a good cause, Noorthoek Academy is hosting its 15th annual Big Step Walk on Saturday morning.

Noorthoek, which was founded more than 30 years ago, is a non-profit that provides a college experience at GRCC for adults with disabilities. Tuition is only $250 a semester but since many students are unable to work, they depend on scholarships to pay for continued education. The Big Step Walk is the academy’s biggest annual fundraiser and supports those students.

People participate in the 2019 ‘Big Step Walk’ at Aquinas College. The annual event benefits students at Noorthoek Academy. (courtesy)

“The walk along with being a raffle is a time for our students to get together as well as the whole community,” said Noorthoek Academy’s executive director Lyn VanTol. 

The event is free and open to everyone. This year’s theme is “take me out to the ballpark.”

The walk kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the baseball diamond at Dwight Lydell Park. VanTol encourages people to arrive between 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. because a big part of the walk is a raffle. 

“We have a generous donation from Great Wolf Lodge, along with a northern Michigan wine package that people are excited about. We have back to school back to school packs, there are some restaurant gift certificates, Chow Hound gave us a great basket. There’s also skin care baskets, painting classes from Brush Studio, and Kilwins and Mokaya chocolates both have given us amazing gifts,” VanTol said. 

She added that the walk is not competitive and that people of all ages and abilities can participate. To learn more about Noorthoek or the event, visit NoorthoekAcademy.org.

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