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And the walk goes on for Boardman principal



Published: Thu, June 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The educator was about 40 miles from Canton on Wednesday afternoon.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- By this afternoon, Stadium Drive Elementary Principal Michael Notar hopes to be about halfway through his walk for a good cause.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Notar, 36, had walked about 80 miles.

He started Saturday in Columbus and is walking to Boardman Park.

"The weather has been absolutely beautiful," Notar said from a hotel room outside of Millersburg, Ohio. "I start at 7 a.m. and I'm usually done by 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. before it starts to get really hot."

He was about 40 miles from Canton on Wednesday.

His motivation

His goal in the roughly 168-mile trek is to raise both money for The Matthew Fund and awareness of an incurable disease.

Matthew O'Nesti, 8, a pupil at Stadium Drive, was diagnosed at 18 months with spinal muscular atrophy, an incurable genetic disease that affects muscles used for everyday activities such as walking and swallowing.

The boy's family established the research fund at The Ohio State University.

Notar said he wants to especially thank Denise and John York and The DeBartolo Corp., the event sponsor, who donated $10,000 toward his $40,000 goal.

Matthew's mother, Roseann, joined Notar on the walk Wednesday.

When the principal, who will leave the school to become superintendent of Brookfield schools next year, completes each day's mileage, he relaxes in the hotel Jacuzzi and usually naps.

He turns in about 8 p.m. and rises at 4 a.m. to eat breakfast before hitting the pavement.

When Notar planned the trip, he figured in three to four days of "cushion" in case of bad weather or injury. If the weather stays like it has been, he expects to reach Canfield by Tuesday.

Notar will leave the center of Canfield about 5 p.m. July 3 and walk the five miles to Boardman Park in time for the Independence Day and bicentennial festivities.




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