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Walk raises hopes, money

April 29, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Volunteers for the March of Dimes raised $51,000 - nearly twice as much as they did last year - at the annual WalkAmerica event Saturday in Hagerstown.

More than 700 people completed the six-mile trek through the city on a bright and sunny morning.

"Good job guys. You were awesome," Bob Udovich of Hagerstown said to the two 7-year-old boys he had in tow.

Udovich, 44, recruited his son, Dalton, and Dalton's friend, Michael Langmyer, for the walk.

Some of the early finishers jogged their way to the finish line at Long Meadow Shopping Center.

"We always run. We kick it out. That's the way to do it," said Laura Hain, 28, of Hagerstown, who was still pumped up after running most of the way.

Refreshments were waiting, including hot dogs cooked with Kerch's famous barbecue sauce.

Local musician Ted Raschka joined the band Yesterday's Wine to entertain returning walkers.

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"We're trying to bring back the festival atmosphere in the past to get people involved," said Scott Paddack, operations chairman.

Debbie Anderson of Hagerstown was watching the finish line for her daughter, Alicia Farrar, 20, and her granddaugther, Ambrosia Frush, 20 months.

Farrar walked on behalf of Healthy Families of Washington County, a program that supports young mothers.

"They've helped her out a lot," Anderson said.

The March of Dimes, whose mission is to reduce birth defects and infant mortality, gives grants to local nonprofit organizations such as Health Families, said Melissa Clark, March of Dimes community director for Washington and Frederick counties.

Citicorp raised more money than any other organization. Hundreds of employees signed up and brought in $12,000, she said.

Jody Bishop of the Family Birthing Center raised $400, the most of any individual.

Dave Brechbill, 45, of Boonsboro, completed his 21st consecutive walk for the March of Dimes.

In the early days, the walk lasted for 25 miles.

"This is nothing now," he said. "It's a walk in the park."

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