The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 25, 2013

OCC grad’s cross-country run brings him through Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. — Pausing Tuesday afternoon on Seventh Street in Joplin, Steve Spear took a moment to take a long pull from his water bottle, catch his breath and reflect on being halfway finished.

He was at about the midpoint for the day’s run, and also in the middle of the run that will take him from the West Coast to Brooklyn, N.Y.

“This is exciting and surreal,” Spear said. “It’s exciting in the sense that I’m halfway done. And it’s surreal in the sense that, ‘Oh, there’s half left to go.’”

Spear, who began his run April 8 from the Santa Monica Pier, has been averaging more than 30 miles a day. His plan is to follow Route 66 to Chicago and then make his way to New York. He said he is on track to conclude his run in Brooklyn the first week of September.

Passing through Joplin on Tuesday marked something of a homecoming.

Spear, who lives in St. Charles, Ill., graduated in 1986 from Ozark Christian College in Joplin. He also returned a week after the May 2011 tornado to deliver supplies and volunteer during recovery efforts.

He is running across the country as a volunteer ambassador for World Vision, raising money to provide clean water to people in Africa.

“The whole idea was to raise $1.5 million so that 30,000 people could have clean water for life,” Spear said. “Right now we’re at about $110,000. We safely have enough for 2,000 people to have a whole new future. I’m hopeful and encouraged that the rest will come in due time.”

He is being followed across the country by his family and crew in two donated RVs. Side trips have taken him to several churches where he has shared his story, including a weekend stop at Racine Christian Church in Seneca.

“(My message) was from Luke 8:22,” he said. “It’s a lesson about trusting God. For me, running is all about fear ... about taking steps out of fear.”

As someone who took up running just six years ago, Spear said each day of his run has been a true “test of resolve.”

“My body has held up better than I thought,” he said. “There have been some low moments, some challenging moments, and lots of fatigue. But there has also been lots and lots of resolve to move forward every day.

“I’ve learned to trust the prayers and support of other people to put one foot in front of the other.”

On the Net

INFORMATION ABOUT Steve Spear’s cross-country journey can be found at www.runningforwater.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • r073114rebuildjoplin3.jpg 30 volunteers a day would be a ‘game-changer’ for Rebuild Joplin

    Betty and Louis Wirick, both 79, say they are grateful to have survived the 2011 tornado as it tore down part of their home of 25 years on South Bird Avenue. But three years later, they are frustrated.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Event for veterans on tap at Crowder

    For area veterans who have returned home from more than a decade at war, the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks hopes to send a simple message at an event this weekend: Welcome home.

    August 1, 2014

  • Fair to feature goats, chickens and decorated bras

    Along with the usual fair sights, sounds and smells — livestock, poultry, produce and the like — there will be something a bit unusual at the Cherokee County American Legion Free Fair this year: Decorated brassieres. And pink. Lots of pink.

    August 1, 2014

  • Damien D Doxley 051314.jpg Prison term meted out in carjacking case

    A Newton County judge assessed a defendant in a Joplin carjacking case seven years in prison Friday on a conviction on a charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 080114 Older worker1_72.jpg Co-workers, friends honor nurse with 50-year career

    Wilma Massey has worked a half century in health care and, even at the age of 74, she’s the first to arrive at work each morning.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Amendment 7 backers tout safety, new jobs; foes say special interests to benefit

    The constitutional amendment, sent to the voters by the Legislature this year, would temporarily increase Missouri’s sales tax by three-quarters of 1 percent, raising an estimated $5.4 billion for the next decade to fund transportation projects.

    August 1, 2014

  • Brownback names 3 Kansas Board of Regents members

    Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named a former veteran Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.

    August 1, 2014

  • Grant to fund solar energy system for PSU’s Plaster Center

    An $80,000 grant from Westar Energy will fund solar panels to provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

    August 1, 2014

  • Survey seeks views on Joplin’s future goals

    Residents are being asked to fill out a survey on priorities for Joplin’s future. The effort was inspired by a meeting of community leaders last month. Survey forms are available at the Joplin Public Library and online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/jointjoplinareaplanningsurvey.

    July 31, 2014

  • Habitat slates volunteer work days

    In the wake of the 2011 tornado, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has been a partner with organizations and individuals in the construction of 86 new houses. But what’s also needed, Executive Director Scott Clayton said, are repairs to area homes.

    July 31, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Do you plan on voting in the Aug. 5 elections being held in Missouri and Kansas?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter