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Ingomar parishioners to walk in honor of loved ones for 4th time

| Thursday, April 29, 2010

People remember Jackie Cassetori and Kathy Frantz as being driven to help people.

As director of education at Ingomar United Methodist Church in Franklin Park, Cassetori made it a mission to find new ways to make Bible lessons understandable, particularly for children.

Frantz was a fixture in the church, too. She often split her time volunteering at soup kitchens, even on holidays, and spending Wednesdays shuttling children to Bethany House, a nonprofit ministry that helps low-income families in Northview Heights and St. Clair Village.

When they died, friends such as Jan Lamm thought it was appropriate to honor them.

The church will hold its fourth annual Memorial Walk on May 8 in North Park. The event is billed by organizers as an opportunity for people to commemorate the life, love and service of loved ones who have recently died.

"You would think it's a solemn event, but really it's joyous," said Margie Martinelli, who coordinates the gathering. "It's a time to reflect on the good times and the love you have for someone who has passed on."

Thirty people associated with the church have died since January 2008.

Fond memories are recalled during a brief remembrance and prayer ceremony that leads up to the 1 1/2-mile march around the park and the release of colorful balloons.

"We were losing our friends, people who made a difference. There were so many people grieving," said Lamm, 55 of Rolling Ridge. "We wanted to do something to remember them our own way."

The first Memorial Walk was in 2007, five months after Frantz died at age 47. Cassetori was 38 when she died in December 1999 of breast cancer.

Ingomar Church holds a candlelight service in December called "Blue Christmas" to help people of all faiths deal with loss during the holidays.

"It's about realizing that, in our grief, we never walk alone," Martinelli said.

Additional Information:

In memory

What : Ingomar United Methodist Church's fourth annual Memorial Walk

When : 9 a.m. May 8

Where : Pie Traynor Field in North Park

Cost : $10 per person or $30 per family.

For more information: Call 412-364-3613, or visit www.ingomarchurch.org. Register before May 3 to get your loved one's name printed onto T-shirts that will be distributed during the event.

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