Strides taken to prevent hunger

October 19, 1997


Staff Writer

A mile into Sunday's CROP Walk, Selma Lumm was still going strong.

Lumm, 83, said she was keeping a promise she made to herself after missing last year's walk, which benefits the hungry.

"I thought about it last year and didn't after saying I would. I couldn't let another year go by," she said.

Would Lumm finish?

"How far do I have to go?" she asked.

When told the walk was about six miles, she said: "I doubt it. Now if it had been a couple years ago ."


But to organizers of the annual event, finishing is not necessarily the point. Maximum participation - which leads to maximum donations to feed the hungry - is the important thing.

Sponsored by the Washington County Council of Churches, this year's event drew about 225 walkers and more than $10,000 in pledges, said Robert Hyssong, the organization's treasurer. Hyssong said participation was dramatically higher than last year's total of 148.

"That's a good increase," he said.

Walkers representing about 16 congregations began at First Christian Church on Potomac Avenue in Hagerstown's North End. Participants walked down Oak Hill Avenue to North Potomac Street, turned left on Franklin Street, turned the corner at Winter Street and walked back Washington Avenue and Washington Street. Walkers then made their way down Prospect Street to Baltimore Street, briefly onto Summit Avenue and then turned right on Antietam Street before marching up Locust Street back toward the church.

Hyssong said 75 percent of the money raised by the Christian Rural Outreach Program event will go to Church World Services, the national event organizer. That money will be used to fight hunger throughout the world. The remaining 25 percent will remain in Washington County, Hyssong said.

Torben Aarsand, pastor of Haven Lutheran Church, was participating in his 18th CROP Walk, but his first in Hagerstown. He recalled his first walk, a 15-mile journey in Lancaster, Pa.

"It was a long, long walk, very tiring. But the more tired we got, the more we realized what it would be like to walk every day for food," he said.

Tammy Delosier, a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, said she has walked for a variety of different causes.

"I've never done a six-mile. It seems long, but as long as it's walking ." she said.

Delosier said she said keeps fit by jogging in the mornings.

Others have less traditional ways of keeping in shape for the event.

"I'm an elementary school principal. That gives me an opportunity to walk quite a bit," said Randy Schultz, principal of Eastern Elementary School.

The walkers could hardly have asked for better conditions. The sky was clear and the temperature mild.

"And we've done it in the rain before," said Carroll Sager, a member of Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church. "This is a nice day."

Linda Zaffaroni said St. Mark's houses a food bank.

"Hunger is one of the big concerns of our congregation," she said.

The Rev. Fred Harris, pastor of First Christian, gave walkers a pep talk before they departed.

"It makes a real difference what you're doing today," he said. "You're really saving lives as you walk today."

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