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Boyce event to benefit Network of Hope

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Tiffany Grimes calls 2007 one of the worst times in her family's life. Her husband lost his job. The couple didn't know how they could afford to care for themselves and their four children.

“There were times when we didn't have gas in our car or anything that we needed,” said Grimes, 37, of Swissvale.

After her husband, Lamont, contacted the Penn Hills Network of Hope site, things began to turn around.

“We've always had support from Network of Hope,” Grimes said. “Whatever life has thrown at us, it has really changed our lives.”

The Pittsburgh-based organization connects those facing hard times with programs and resources.

And now that they're back on their feet, Grimes and her family are helping the charity host its annual Walk 4 Change, which will be held in Boyce Park this Saturday.

She has been helping with handling preparations, making phone calls and shopping, often volunteering alongside the Penn Hills site director, Janet Amato.

The walk itself will be a family affair for Grimes. Her husband and children will be there. Her mother will staff the registration table.

“I'm so grateful to be able to have such a close part in this year's work,” Grimes said.

The event is the Network of Hope's only fundraiser. Proceeds support the Penn Hills arm's operating costs.

Located at Three Rivers Assembly of God in Penn Hills, the site provides support to those in the eastern suburbs.

Amato has seen an uptick in registration this year. The walk attracted about 125 last year and raised about $8,500. This year, she expects about 150. The goal for Saturday is $10,000.

Registration is at Boyce Park's Four Seasons Activity Center in Plum. The event is free and open to the public. A $25 donation gets registrants a T-shirt.

The fundraiser offers more than just a chance to beat feet through Boyce.

Now in its seventh year, the Walk 4 Change will feature food, prizes and family-oriented activities.

Julie Martin is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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