Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


June 10, 2013

Relay for Life team spotlight: Smyrna Strollers

Greensburg — Cancer has touched countless lives across the world and many of those lives were right here in Decatur County.

This edition's Relay for Life team spotlight will focus on the members of the Smyrna Strollers and the reasons they choose to walk.

The Smyrna Strollers are a new team and this is only the second year for them, though some of the members have been involved with the relay for years through other teams. There are nine members on the team.

Team captain Irene Walterman is a cancer survivor herself, but when asked why she walks, Irene said she is waling in support of her friend, Judy Witkemper. Walterman was diagnosed with kidney cancer in the fall of 2010, and her husband, Max, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer mere weeks later. Max Walterman lost his battle with cancer in January of 2011, leaving his wife and daughter, Dawn Readnour, to continue the fight.

Irene is now in remission and cancer free, which gave her the strength and motivation to start the Smyrna Strollers team in memory of her husband and in honor of Judy Witkemper. Judy is currently under hospice care suffering from brain cancer. The Smyrna Strollers have a goal of selling 59 luminarias to honor Judy’s 59 years of life. Anyone interested in purchasing a luminaria in Judy’s honor can do so at by visiting the website and typing “Smyrna Strollers” into the search bar in the middle of the page.

Walterman said that Judy has wanted to start a team since she was diagnosed with cancer three years ago but hasn’t been able to. Walterman said the Smyrna Lutheran Church has been a great comfort to Judy, who is "like a sister" to her, as well as a huge help to the team. Both Walterman and her daughter reported that the people of the church have done so much for the team, even those who are not members. Smyrna is a very small town, but the residents there pull together and give their all when one of their own is in need. Readnour said the whole church has pitched in and donated their time and money. “Even people who aren’t on the team are ready to walk and help out, doing whatever they can to support us.”

When asked why she walked, team member Dawn Readnour said, “The reason I am walking is in honor of my mom and in memory of my dad. I walk in honor of Judy also. They are all inspiration to me. It’s nice to give back in this way and help with the fight for cancer.”

Walterman added, “Cancer is a very big thing to us. It has touched a lot of our lives and had an effect on a lot of our family members. But this year we are focusing on Judy.”

In addition to the money they have raised through donations, the Smyrna Strollers will hold several fundraisers at the relay itself on June 21. Friday evening, they will have chili for sale, as well as some Indiana University collegiate t-shirts.

On Saturday morning, they will have homemade biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, and muffins available for purchase. All money raised during the relay will go towards the team’s goal.

Anyone who is at the relay June 21 is invited to stop by the Smyrna Strollers' booth and pass along well wishes or purchase a delicious treat to help support the cause.

While cancer may take some wonderful people out of this world, it also inspires others to fight against insurmountable odds to continue searching for a cure. Many of those fighters seem to reside in Decatur County, and several are members of the Smyrna Strollers.

Any Relay for Life teams that would like to have a team spotlight are encouraged to contact Amanda Browning at for more information.  

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004


Text Only
  • nws-gb080214-acting us attorney headdshot Acting US Attorney for Ind. Southern District named INDIANAPOLIS – Josh J. Minkler, 51, has been named the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. Minkler served as the First Assistant under former United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett and will now lead the federal prose

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Staples, Greensburg, holding Teacher Appreciation Event GREENSBURG – Most teachers spend more than $400 of their own money each year on supplies and materials for their classrooms.This weekend, Aug. 2 to 3, Greensburg and Decatur County teachers enrolled in Staples’ Teacher Rewards program will receive a

    August 2, 2014

  • nws-gb080214 china trip follow up photo China trip inspires local teachers GREENSBURG — Five Greensburg educators this summer walked on the Great Wall of China, stepped through Tiananmen Square and closed their eyes while their taxi zipped through jam-packed streets. But they valued their trip primarily because of the human

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb080214-school bus stop pic Community: Do I Have to Stop for That School Bus? In Indiana, August brings hot weather, the State Fair, and, most significantly perhaps, the start of a new school year. Every school year, the Indiana State Police receives numerous complaints about school bus stop-arm violations from school corporat

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crackaway Daze on for late September NEW POINT – In spite of rumors to the contrary, the annual New Point Crackaway Daze Festival is set to return for the 21st time late next month.Information provided to the Daily News by perennial event organizers Paul and Sharon Walterman states the

    August 2, 2014

  • Church Briefs Sandcreek Baptist ChurchKoo-dos to our youth for a great service last week. These are the future of our church and they’re growing in the Spirit and in their fellowship with the other members of our church. Looking forward to our next “youth Sunday.”

    August 2, 2014

  • Ask and you shall receive Matthew 21:22: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”John 16:24: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”My parents separated and divorced when I was

    August 2, 2014

  • What a Wonderful World This coming week marks the birthday of a man who Bing Crosby called, “the beginning and the end of music in America.”Born in the sweltering heat of a New Orleans’ August, the grandson of former slaves, and suffering abject poverty, that man was Louis

    August 2, 2014

  • nws-gb-080214 elementary school open house photo 1 Preparing to go (back) to school GREENSBURG —Teacher Erin Buening stood at the door of her first-grade classroom and bent down so she could be at eye-level with a student who had just found the room in which she will be spending the next year, her first year of school.“Hello, are yo

    August 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • nws-gb080214-art on square pic 1 Successful 'paint-out' brings artists downtown GREENSBURG – With morning weather that was itself close to a stroke of summer genius, this year’s Plein-Air Paint-Out artists undoubtedly found plenty of inspiration.Local artists were joined by their brethren from places such as Anderson, Muncie and

    August 2, 2014 5 Photos