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Local Group Walks To Raise Funds For Sandy Hook

OSWEGO, NY – Integrative Counseling Services is in the business of helping others.

Over the weekend, the Oswgonians banded together to help those dealing with the aftermath of last month’s murders in Newtown, Conn.

Integrative Counseling Services staff members and others pose on the Bridge Street Bridge during a fundraising event Saturday for Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Photo provided by Beth Clark)
Integrative Counseling Services staff members and others pose on the Bridge Street Bridge during a fundraising event Saturday for Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Photo provided by Beth Clark)

“In light of the recent horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the counselors and staff of Integrative Counseling Services in Oswego felt that we needed to do something to honor the tragically lost children and adults of the shooting,” Rikki Ziegen, a mental health counselor at ICS, told Oswego County Today.

They put together a “virtual 5k” through http://www.active.com/half-marathon/tampa-fl/sandy-hook-elementary-memorial-virtual-half-marathon-and-5k-2013.

The proceeds go straight to the United Way of Western Connecticut Sandy Hook Victims, she explained.

“We registered online through the website and set a date and time for us to meet, which was Saturday at 9:30 a.m. We met at Integrative Counseling Services at 5 W. Cayuga St. and went from there!” she said.

They created their own route where some of them ran and others walked.

The group also held a sign to let individuals in the community know what they were doing the event for, Ziegen explained.

“We didn’t want to run or walk it with the cause going unnoticed,” she said. “Our goal was to hopefully raise awareness of how we can all help out! I know when the tragedy happened, we were all thinking of ways of how WE can help. We found the website where we could create the virtual 5k.”

Taking part in the fundraiser were: Dr. Jodi Mullen, June Rickli, Ziegen, Ashley Lawton, Tiffany Tesoriero, Penny Lupo, Aaron Peter Lupo, Andrew Mullen, Michael Mullen, Lisa Clancy, Sara Adydan, “and a few more people as well!” according to Ziegen.

“We also had two dogs, Ralph and Jahkobee, join us,” she added.

There is still time to register and do your own “virtual 5k” or just donate (through the website above), she added.

The “virtual 5k” is a 5k that anyone can do anywhere.

You go to the website and pay $20 to be donated and set up your own 5k in your area, Ziegen  said, adding that you can run a 5k at your own time; you can even do it at the gym if you’d like.

“At Integrative Counseling Services, we always are looking to give back to the community in some way.  This really made us feel like such a small thing can make a big difference!” she said. “We had people wave and beep their horns. We hope that we really were able to make an impact from our community all the way to Newtown.”

The group probably raised just over $300, Ziegen figures.

Integrative Counseling Services is directed by Dr. Mullen.

They provide mental health counseling services to individuals of all ages in the community: children, adolescents, adults, groups, consultations and families.

“We also offer free depression screenings, workshops and seminars, as well as coaching (personal growth, parenting, mental health/play therapy practice),” Ziegen said.

For more information, call them at 315-342-9255 or visit www.integrativecounseling.us