Walking the Walk

(Above) Dennis Higgins (left) helped to organize and marched in the first “Youth March” for then Handicap Village. -Reporter photo by Marianne Gasaway.

50th anniversary event puts total over $2M

by Marianne Gasaway

One Vision celebrated 50 years since the creation of its benefit walk by successfully meeting its $50,000 goal for the event and topping the $2 million mark in the walk’s history.

“We are so grateful for this community and the people who support the mission of the organization. We have made a huge impact on the lives of people with disabilities in North Iowa,” said Jennifer Pinske, of One Vision.

Dennis Higgins, of Mason City, participated in the very first 10-mile walk when he was 15 and again completed the 10 miles this year.  He, along with David McCartney, from Charles City, addressed the hundred who spent much of Saturday afternoon in City Park for the One Vision celebration.

Higgins and McCartney were both high school students when they were invited to attend a dinner meeting with other North Iowa teenagers at the Holiday Inn in Mason City.  After enjoying dinner, Don Boyer was introduced as the guest speaker.  Boyer was the first executive director of a local group trying to establish a local home for adults with disabilities.  It was known as Handicap Village.

Higgins told the audience Boyer made a huge impact on him and inspired him to not only become involved with the first “youth march,” but to support its mission through the years.

Higgins said he and others returned to their schools and began talking about the event.  The goal was 5,000 walkers and $50,000.

In that first year marchers walked 10-miles.  One group traveled from Mason City to Clear Lake City Park,

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