Tunch and Wolf’s Annual 20-mile Walk Through Pittsburgh Honors those who Help Homeless

Deanna Garcia May 4, 2012

The 20 mile walk took a group of participants to 16 Pittsburgh neighborhoods on Friday. They stopped in Market Square downtown on their way to Mt. Washington to hold a small ceremony honoring citizens who’ve stepped up in the last year to help the Light of Life Rescue Mission.

“Pittsburghers want to give of themselves, and to see a high school girl raise $8,000, that blows me away!” said Former Steeler Lineman Tunch Ilkin.

He’s referring to one of the nominees for the “Locker Room Achievement Award”, high school student Lisa DiFalco, who raised the money for the mission. There were three other nominees. The winner of this year’s award was Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Raventstahl. Ilkin says the support of people like DiFalco and the mayor helps raise awareness.

“It’s such an encouragement to the people that work there, to the clients there to know that there is a population out there that cares,” he said.

Light of Life Rescue Mission has served the poor and homeless on the North Side for more than 60 years. Reaching out to people is a challenge in Allegheny County, which has an estimated 2,000 homeless people.

“A significant number of them are children. We serve men, women, and children who are homeless,” said Jessi Marsh with Light of Life. “Many of them are recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Many of them have issues with mental illness, and some have just fallen on hard times and need specific help, like getting a job.”

The Tunch and Wolf Walk for the Homeless will take place Saturday May 12. It’s a 10k walk adjacent to Heinz Field. More than 700 people are expected to participate in this year’s event. Proceeds benefit Light of Life Rescue Mission.