Run will honor tornado victims
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 30 May 2013 10:08
MILLBURY - Robin Arquette knows a lot about loss.
|File photo. Kelly Kirchner reacts while looking over damage, Sunday, June 6, 2010, left by a tornado that killed four in Millbury, Ohio. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
On the night of this interview, for a story about a run/walk in honor of her brother, sister-in-law and 4-year-old nephew who were killed in the June 2010 tornado, she had to have her sick dog euthanized.
In the three years since the tornado that killed Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters, Arquette has lost her mother, and a cousin to cancer. The year before the tornado struck, her father died.
Arquette refuses to feel sorry for herself.
"No matter what happens in your life, you can always help someone else," she said. "There are certain things you can't control, but you can help someone else."
Arquette lives in Troy, but visits the area frequently to see her niece Maddie, who survived the tornado that killed her family as they slept in their Millbury home and now lives with another aunt. And Arquette - along with many of the Walters family - is always here on the first weekend of every June, welcoming participants to the annual Walters' Family 5K Run/Walk at the Millbury fire station.
Proceeds benefit a scholarship established at Owens Community College to aid a student in either computer technology or child care, which were the backgrounds of Ryan and Mary, respectively.
"I've always been the kind of person who wants to help someone out," Arquette said. "No matter what, your life isn't as bad as someone else's. I want to be that kind of person who sees that and is able to help."
Arquette looks for the same qualities when she's reading through the scholarship applications.
"What you're looking for is someone who understands, 'I'm obtaining this degree, but how can this help someone in the community?'
"A degree will better yourself, but how can you better someone else's life, too?"
This is the third year of the run/walk and it has endowed a $500 scholarship.
She and her family initially decided to have the event as a way to thank the community in the aftermath of the tornado.
"Being in the hospital, being with my brother and niece, I couldn't help do the cleanup," Arquette said. "It was a way for me to give back to the people who helped. It's a great community and they really care."
Maddie, who is 10 years old, is all healed from her broken bones and lives the life of a "normal" little girl, her aunt said.
"She's excelling in school. She plays all kinds of different sports. She's learning the piano," Arquette said. "She's just really a special little girl."
The family will keep the memory of Maddie's parents and brother alive with the annual fundraiser, and by always talking about that "give-back spirit."
"You need to reach out to other people because not everyone has the opportunities you have," Arquette said. "At the end of the day, you have to look at 'what have I done to enrich someone else's life, to make it better? What have I done that's positive?
"That's how my brother was."
The 3rd Annual Walters' Family 5K Run/Walk will be held June 8 at 8 a.m. The race will begin and end at the Millbury fire station, 1911 Ayers Road. This race is dedicated to the seven community members who lost their lives as a result of the June 5, 2010 tornado. Proceeds from the race benefit the Ryan, Mary, and Hayden Walters Scholarship Fund at Owens Community College.
The Walters' Family 5K Team encourages families, running clubs, schools, and community members to participate. Entry forms are available at Second Sole and Calvary Lutheran Church or on race day at the Ayers Road Fire Station.
The entry fee is $20.
For more information, contact Mark Beck at (419) 367-1917 or