CLEVELAND - Bedford native Alonzo Mitchell wanted to bridge the gap between Cleveland and Columbus, so he decided to walk the 140 miles between the two cities.
He left Cleveland last Saturday and by Wednesday, he had made it as far as West Salem in Wayne County.
"I made that drive 100 times and never thought about all the people who are in-between the two cities and I wanted to meet them," he said. "So the only way to really meet people is to come down and walk."
Mitchell is the managing partner of Ohio Homecoming, an annual festival aimed at instilling pride about being from Ohio. More than 30,000 people have attended the event over the past three years.
Mitchell said the money raised from Ohio Homecoming is donated to community development projects. In 2011, more than 400 volunteers spent 24 hours painting and landscaping Martin Luther King High School in Cleveland. Money raised at Ohio Homecoming also purchased new lockers for the school.
His vision for the future includes converting vacant properties into low cost homes for people who come home from college drowning in student loan debt.
These are some of the stories Mitchell is sharing along his journey through Ohio hoping to raise funds for a bigger and better Ohio Homecoming 2013.
He is also learning things about his state that he never knew before. Each night someone gives him a place to stay and a hot meal. One night he stayed at an old Victorian house in Medina.
"The tub has feet on it," he said.
You can follow Mitchell's journey and learn more about Ohio Homecoming at http://www.ohiohomecoming.com/blog/
Mitchell's a day behind schedule right now, because all of the walking caused a toe to swell. However, he still hopes to make it to Columbus by Sept. 15.
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