The first ever Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund walkathon came to close on May 10, raising over $5,000 for the fund.
Students from Portsmouth Elementary walked around the Hadsell track collecting donations from community members and local businesses.
Kathy Amburgey, a first grade teacher at Portsmouth Elementary School, came up with the idea to host the walkathon.
“Every day the students are called to pick up their power-packs,” said Amburgey. “I wondered if they knew who Steven was, and where these power-packs came from, and that’s when I went to the principal with the idea.”
Steven Hunter was a 2003 graduate of Portsmouth High School and after his passing, his parents Mark and Virgie Hunter created the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund in 2006 to honor their son and his kind heart.
Amburgey addressed the students in an assembly on May 12.
“You are and you were great. Everybody that knew Steven loved him, he was kind, he was loving and he was giving,” began Amburgey. “He would do anything anything for anybody and he was always giving back. We decided we wanted to give all of you a chance to give back. We want you to become extraordinary like Steven, and you were. You brought money in, you supported your friends, you participated, you were extraordinary. Your teachers and I, we want to encourage you to give back, if you don’t have money, that’s okay. You can give your time, you can give back to your friends when you see someone sad and down. Do you know what Steven would do if he saw someone that was sad?”
A chorus of voices yelled back, “he would cheer them up!”
The students cheered and clapped with enthusiasm as Amburgey thanked the staff for their participation and cooperation.
Warren Goddard, a senior at Portsmouth High School, dressed in the Captain Trojan costume that Steven once wore, along with the staff presented the check to Mark and Virgie Hunter.
“We are so privileged to be a part of the walk,” said Mark Hunter. “We know Steven is looking down on this and loving every bit of this. He loved kids, and loved his school. Giving is something, like Ms. Amburgey said, ‘You don’t have to have stuff to give, you can give yourself.’ We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, so so much, this has been so overwhelming and wonderful. “
The funds mission sets out to improve the lives of economically disadvantaged children in Scioto and surrounding counties by supplying basic needs and opportunities and fostering hope for their future. The primary focus is childhood hunger and it is addressed through Steven’s Power Pack Program, providing food for the weekend for elementary aged school children with financial needs.
“This donation will provide over 1,700 power packs, almost 7,000 individual meals. We had no clue that the turnout would be anything like this,” explained Mark Hunter. “When Kathy was talking about Steven, and how he treated people, that is how he treated everybody. To know that they want these children to grow up and be like Steven is such an honor. We love these kids so much, and we love these schools. Hunger is such a serious issues and we’re so blessed that God gave us a mission. We’re a conduit, the love of the community gets channeled through us, to the schools, and to the kids. That’s how it works.”
For more information about the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, you can visit their website at www.stevenshopefund.org. or by searching their Facebook page “Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.”