GFWC to host Tiara Fun Walk and Bike Ride

REED CITY –  The General Federation of Women’s Clubs will host the second annual Tiara Fun Walk and Bike Ride on Saturday, June 7, in Reed City.

The walk begins at 9 a.m. at the Reed City Depot, and all proceeds will go to fund Katie’s Kloset, an organization dedicated to providing clothes to underserved children in the G.T. Norman Elementary School in Reed City. GFWC formed the nonprofit in 2012 after one of their members, Katie Scharlow, passed away at the age of 24 during her second battle with cancer.

Katie’s mother, Shelley Scharlow, is vice president of GFWC, and said the walk is a way to honor the memory of her daughter as well as give back to children in need. Katie’s Kloset has donated over 100 items to children in Norman Elementary this year alone, Scharlow said.

“She was very well-liked in the community,” Scharlow said. “We wanted to do something to recognize her.”

Last year, the event was limited to the 5K Tiara Walk and saw about 70 participants, Scharlow said. The addition of the bike ride will entail an almost 10-mile route along the Pere Marquette Trail to Hersey, Mich. and back.

Scharlow said those who pre-register can expect a free t-shirt upon arrival. They may also register in person at 8 a.m. Walkers and bikers will enjoy cold water provided by Nestle in Stanwood and yogurt provided by the Yoplait plant in Reed City.

Katie’s Kloset Committee Member Kylene Nix is a first-grade teacher at Norman Elementary and acts as a liaison between the school and the nonprofit. Teachers who notice students without items such as socks, gym shoes or winter jackets send Nix an email request to be presented to Katie’s Kloset for approval.

Nix said supporting nonprofits like Katie’s Kloset is important since it is one of the only organizations in the area dedicated to providing clothing to students in need.

“It makes them feel so special,” Nix said. “I think as the economy has suffered in the last few years there are more and more kids coming to school without the things that they need.”

Bikers will have maps and signs to follow along their route to Hersey, and organizers will be throwing glitter over walkers as they finish the 5K, Nix said.

“We’ll be passing out tiaras and there will be signs along the way to help (people) follow the path,” Nix said.

Participants wishing to pre-register for the Tiara Fun Walk and Bike Ride to receive the free t-shirt must submit their forms by Thursday, May 23. Registration is $15 and forms can be found at the Reed City Depot, Nica’s Boutique, D&E Supply and State Farm Insurance in Reed City, or on the GFWC Facebook site.