14 Jun In Their Shoes: Fathers Walk for Families
Pet therapy volunteer and RMH guest walk from Akron to Cleveland House
Glen Stout is a father. He has three adult children and three four-legged, furry children—therapy dogs Stanley Guido, Giuseppe Luca and Nosy Rosey.
This Father’s Day, Stout will not be putting his feet up, celebrating at a barbeque or ball game. He will be walking more than 33 miles, from the Akron to the Cleveland Ronald McDonald House, in support of fathers and families of ill and injured children.
When you see what these families are going through, it puts your own challenges in perspective.
As a pet therapy volunteer for RMHC Northeast Ohio, Stout has witnessed first-hand the journeys of countless families staying at the Akron or Cleveland House during their children’s medical treatment.
One of those families is the Stenz family.
Peter's cancer brought us together in 2019. Glen and the dogs really raised our spirits. Peter was nine then. The dogs made him giggle and smile, despite his chemo side effects.
The families have stayed connected since that first visit. Stout and Stanley Guido even visited Peter virtually when COVID kept them from visiting the House in person.
“Since Peter’s first neuroblastoma diagnosis when he was only a month old, we’ve stayed at the Akron House 11 different times, for almost 200 nights. What everyone here at the House does for my family means so much to me as a father.” Stenz continues “When Glen first told me he was going to walk from Akron to Cleveland for RMHC NEO, I immediately said ‘I’m in!’”
What everyone here at the House does for my family means so much to me as a father.
Stout feels the impact too. “I’m grateful they have RMHC NEO services and blessed that my four-legged angels (as I call my therapy dogs) can visit to bring them the smiles and joy they may be missing.” It’s the reason he wants to raise awareness and funds through his walk.
This isn’t the first charity walk for Stout. He has hosted a Steps for RMH walk for four consecutive years, raising more than $21,500 in total. Stout adds, “I’m hoping to really grow participation in my 2022 Steps Walk through this Father’s Day trek!” Stout donates the walk funds when he volunteers as a “Shoe Guy” for the RMHC NEO signature event, Wine Women & Shoes.
Stout, Stanley Guido and Daniel Stenz will kick off the walk at 8 AM on Sunday, June 19 at the Akron Ronald McDonald House (141 W. State St. Akron, OH 44302). They may be joined along the way by volunteers and other family. Their goal is to cross the finish line between 7 and 8 PM at the Cleveland Ronald McDonald House (10415 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44106). The public is welcome to join the gatherings outside the House locations for the send-off and the welcome celebration.
“Glen’s walk from the Akron to Cleveland House is particularly meaningful for us since our organizations merged into one regional chapter two years ago this summer,” says Craig Wilson, CEO of RMHC Northeast Ohio. “I admire Glen and Daniel’s commitment—we’re really excited to cheer them on!”
When asked how he will do it, Stout says, “I’ve been training for this walk for months. I’ve worn out a couple pairs of athletic shoes and had my share of soreness.” Pausing for a moment, Stout continues:
My true motivation is the families and kids. In fact, I’m carrying pictures of children we’ve met and dedicating each mile to one of them. When I get tired, I’ll look at them—and put myself in their shoes.
You can view Glen’s route on his walk website: RMHsteps.com. If you want to cheer him on, he suggests these locations and approximate times:
- 7:45 AM: Akron Ronald McDonald House (141 W. State St., Akron, OH 44302)
- 1:15 PM: St. Barnabas Parish (9451 Brandywine, Northfield, OH 44067)
- 4:00 PM: Ken Ganley Subaru Bedford (123 Broadway Ave., Bedford, OH 44146)
- 7:15 PM: Cleveland Ronald McDonald House (10415 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106)