Run Through Time proceeds provide clothes, meals and more to Perry elder citizens

Submitted to The Chief
Racers take off at the start of the Run Through Time 5K Fun Run on Saturday, July 14. PHOTO BY LISA WIDICK/THE PERRY CHIEF

Perry – The community of Perry, together with Perry Lutheran Homes, is stepping up in a big way to support Perry’s elder citizens. On July 14, sponsors from Perry and surrounding towns and runners from as far away as West Bend came together to raise over $10,000 for the inaugural Run Through Time 5K.

The Run Through Time is part of a larger movement called StepUp! (Serving Together our Elders in Perry) designed to raise awareness for and respond to the needs of our elder citizens. The 5K run was organized by community leaders, volunteers and Perry Lutheran Homes staff and was a morning full of inter-generational fun as post-run festivities provided children, elders and all ages in between the opportunity to share in games, dancing and more, all while raising funds to address unmet needs of elders in Perry.

Proceeds from the run were distributed to HomeCare of Adel to provide meals for elder citizens in the community of Perry in addition to residents of Perry Lutheran Homes’ Willis campus unable to afford important equipment, clothing, or other items.

Studies show that one in eight Iowans over 60 experience hunger each day; many suffering from malnutrition. In addition, 160 elder citizens are hungry every day.

From the funds raised by the Run Through Time 5K in July, $2,000 was donated to HomeCare of Adel. These funds will be used to help provide meals to elders in Perry who live at home, but are no longer able to purchase food or cook for themselves.

Don Johnson of HomeCare of Adel, a 13-year volunteer who delivers meals to people at their homes, says he volunteers because he knows, “how important his work is, as it is the only meal some people get and often I am the only person they ever see.” Beyond the importance of his routine noon deliveries, Don’s daily visits often provide a more critical role. More than once he has found someone who has fallen and in need of hospitalization. Without his visit, which provides a wellness check in addition to a nutritious meal, they would not have gotten the help that they needed.

Remaining funds were able to purchase a multitude of needed equipment, clothing and other personal items for residents of Perry Lutheran Home’s Willis campus who have specific needs not covered by Medicaid that they are not able to meet with their limited funds.

“Imagine if you were living in a senior care community and could not afford the basics of socks or undergarments and had no family member to purchase these necessities for you. That’s the reality for many of our residents living at Perry Lutheran Homes’ Willis campus,” said Wanda Pritzel, Director of Philanthropy at Perry Lutheran Homes. “When a resident is in need, staff members have paid for these items out of their own pockets and the goodness of their hearts. Most of the time, it simply comes out of the operating budget of Perry Lutheran Homes because we believe that everyone deserves to live a purposeful, dignified, and comfortable life.”

Proceeds distributed covered needed equipment such as a power lift chair, alternating air pressure mattress and more. A multitude of personal items were purchased and given to residents. They are now enjoying new socks, bras that fit, slips, comfortable pajamas, pants, shorts, shirts, blouses, electric shavers and more. Willis campus memory care residents will also enjoy “Joy for All Companion” cats and dogs to engage and connect with past memories of beloved pets while providing relaxation and therapeutic benefits.

Our elders have done so much to care for others over the years. It is an honor and privilege to now care for them. Perry Lutheran Homes would like to thank all of the Run Through Time 5K sponsors that helped to lead the way and StepUp! Thank you to Jiffy Lube, Bice Family Farms, Gray Field Hog Slat Replacement, Progressive Foundry, Perry Chief, Raccoon Valley Radio, Carris Family Funeral Home, Perry Chamber of Commerce, Edward Jones – Andrew Brommer, Denman & Company – Alan Peitz, The Trestle Inn, La Poste, The Perry News, Peters Service Center, Perry Greenhouse & Supply, Dallas County Hospital, Senior Life Solutions, Haaland Financial Services, Harland Ace Hardware, Mary Rose Galleries, Perry Perk, Minburn Communications, and the Kiley, Pennington, Wichtendahl, and Spellman families. Thank you to all others who helped in any way by volunteering or serving on the committee, including Mr. Pat Graney, Graney Entertainment, for making the inaugural Run Through Time 5K memorable, honoring of elders, and so successful in bringing them joy!

Plans for the second Run Through Time are now being developed; stay tuned for the 2019 date announcement. In the meantime, join the movement by taking the weekly StepUp! Challenge, found on Perry Lutheran Homes’ Facebook page and at, which each week suggests new, creative and fun ways to engage with and care for elders in your community.