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Weather cooperates for cystic fibrosis walk

May 12, 2003|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

It was 11 a.m. and Mary Ridenour was having doubts.

With nearly 100 people poised to walk through Smithsburg in the name of cystic fibrosis research, the weather was getting in the way.

Then, the rain let up. The sun shone and the masses marched.

In the middle of the afternoon, as soon as everyone was done and back at Smithsburg Community Park, it rained some more, said Paula Stout, the chairwoman of the Great Strides fund-raiser.

Between the walk and a live auction, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation chapter covering Washington County and Franklin County, Pa., took in a little over $15,000.

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Event co-chairwoman Mary Ridenour, Stout's mother, said the chapter's goal is to raise $25,000 by the end of the year.

Before Saturday's walk, the chapter had raised $4,000 through other events, including a day's proceeds from a tanning salon, an Easter egg hunt and an evening of ice skating.

A fourth effort was called "Have a Drink on Us." Ridenour said a person was given a can of soda to drink. The person then rinsed the can and used it to solicit money from other people.

Ridenour said the year-to-date fund-raising total of $19,000 will probably climb higher as outstanding pledges come in.

The chapter has one fund-raiser left this year - a Longaberger basket lottery in October. Last year's lottery raised more than $3,000, she said.

"I feel we're going to reach our goal," she said.

Stout's daughter, Kaelii, 9, has cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that afflicts her digestive and respiratory systems. Ridenour said it was nice to see Kaelii able to play basketball and soccer Saturday.

It was also nice to see a new Washington County family affected by cystic fibrosis join in, Ridenour said, since some families prefer to keep the disease "on a shelf" and not tell anyone.

This was the fourth local Great Strides walk. The first two were held at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Sharpsburg. Ridenour said the walk shifted to Smithsburg last year to include more Franklin County residents, which has worked.

The rain didn't stop children from playing in the park and riding ponies and didn't ruin the auction, either.

The 118 auction items included tickets to a Martina McBride concert, an automotive tool kit, a homemade afghan, a basket of dog cookies and a country ham.

Ridenour's husband, Doug, said he got a "real good price" on a solid mahogany table from Statton Imports and a rug from Manny's Oriental Rugs & Gallery.

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