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Sports, pumpkin sales raise money for sick

October 12, 1997

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Gil Lockwood counted up the cash and checks at Sunday's CROP Walk and then drove over to the Tanger Outlet Center to tally the take from an American Cancer Society fund-raiser.

Lockwood, of Martinsburg, served as the treasurer for the Christian Rural Overseas Program Walk. His wife Charlotte is the director of the cancer society for the Eastern Panhandle. The two weekend events raised several thousand dollars to feed the hungry and fight breast cancer.

About 65 participants raised more than $1,500 with the CROP Walk that began and ended in War Memorial Park.

"A number of people are still collecting their pledges, so that number will go up," said Ellen Murphy, program director at the Otterbein United Methodist Church and coordinator of this year's walk.

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Church World Service, headquarted in Elkhart, Ind., has held CROP Walks for 51 years but, Murphy said, "last year was the first year we'd done a CROP Walk since 1991."

Locally, the Berkeley County Christian Youth Cluster served as the sponsor.

"We thought it was a worthy cause and a good way to get the youth of the churches involved in a service project," Murphy said.

Most of the money raised by CROP Walks around the nation go to programs that help provide food, medicine and clothing to the Third World's poor. Twenty-five percent of the money, however, stays in Berkeley County, benefiting Loaves and Fishes.

Loaves and Fishes is a food pantry program of CCAP, the Christian Community Action Program. "That was formed a number of years ago by several of the churches in Berkeley County to help the needy," Murphy said.

"There's a lot of organizations raising money for world hunger, but we feel the CROP Walk is pretty important because of the amount of money that stays here," said Murphy.

Although it was mid-October, most of the walkers were dressed in T-shirts and shorts and several of the early finishers of the three-mile circuit were sweating from the effort. Others were taking part in a volleyball marathon to raise money.

Although it was an ecumenical event, the CROP Walk here was heavily weighted with members of United Methodist Churches in the county. Sporting a Promise Keepers cap, Glen Leonard of Hedgesville said six adults and 13 youths from the Hedgesvile United Methodist Church took part in the walk.

Over at the Tanger Outlet, the cancer society was wrapping up a two-day event that included pumpkin sales, an antique auto and motorcycle show and a drawing for two free mammograms donated by City Hospital in Martinsburg.

On Saturday, the outlet, like 27 others across the country, donated 1 percent of its total sales to breast cancer research and treatment. Outlet Manager Karin Dunn said she didn't know yet how much that would come to but, "it will be a lot."

"They were very busy Saturday," said Charlotte Lockwood. The cancer society got another $700 in donations from those who picked out pumpkins.

Ed Collins, owner of Marlowe Cycles, came up with the idea last year for the classic car and cycle show, according to Lockwood. That raised another $300 Sunday from refreshment sales.

Breast cancer survivors handed out pink ribbons at the outlet and members of Sisters Who Care and the Eastern Panhandle Tobacco Coalition helped run the mammogram drawing, Lockwood said.

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