LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Something that started as a middle school project between best friends has turned into a four year labor of love. “We were in a group together, and we found paws with a purpose. It kinda caught our eye because we thought we might want to do something with animals,” said Max Stengel.
Stengel, a senior high jumper at St. X, and his buddy, Kenny Tien, who is graduating from Manual, started the Paws With Purpose Walkathon when they were in the eighth grade. “I think we just wanted to like keep supporting an organization that had such a great impact on the community,” said Tien. Although the two friends went to different high schools, it was important to both of them to stay involved with the charity. “People don’t really see what goes into training assistance dogs, and just providing that money and funding for that training was very important to us,” said Tien. Which, of course, makes Charlotte Stengel a proud mom. “It shows ingenuity. It shows compassion. And really, their story is one of friendship,” said Charlotte.
Everyone involved with Paws with Purpose had visions of this being the best walkathon in the four year history. Unfortunately, Covid 19 put a damper on things, but Charlotte Stengel and vice president of the organization, Elaine Weisberg had the brilliant idea of making the walk virtual. “We started looking into it, and Charlotte and I started talking saying, hey, maybe we can do this,” said Weisberg. “Now we’re able to use the social media platform, we can reach people that are outside of the Louisville area. People who might not have been able to make the walk in person,” said Max Stengel.
In the first three years of the walkathon, they’ve raised $30,000. Their goal for this year is $25,000. To date, they have raised $12,500. The deadline to participate is May 29th. You can get more information on their website, pausewithpurpose.org.