A walk ... in the park

Participants raise money for Third World assistance

Participants raise money for Third World assistance

October 10, 2005|by KAREN HANNA


At 86, Paul Hillebert of Hagerstown was easily one of the elder statesmen in an event to raise money for the world's needy.

A walker in Sunday's CROP WALK at Fairgrounds Park, Hillebert joked he was after a slightly different distinction.

"Oh, I just heard about it, and I wanted to see if I could keep up with the rest, but I'm finding out I can't," Hillebert said as he and a fellow walker began their third leg around a mile-long course.

Between 200 and 250 people showed up to raise money for local food banks and Church World Service, event coordinator Jane Drawbaugh said before the event began.


According to Drawbaugh, participants in past years have raised $16,000 to $17,000 by collecting pledges.

One-fourth of the proceeds this year will go toward local food banks, while the rest will be earmarked for Church World Service's projects in the Third World, Drawbaugh said.

Church World Service's work includes digging wells and educating poor women about ways they can start businesses in their own communities, Drawbaugh said. For many women of the Third World, even a task as routine as getting safe drinking water requires walking several miles each day, Drawbaugh said.

"So, we walk because they have to walk so many miles for their food ... for their access to water," Drawbaugh said.

Stephen McGinley of Hagers-town, a senior at St. Maria Goretti High School, said he planned to walk about three times around the course. He said the event helped him and his classmates "show solidarity with the poor."

McGinley, 18, was one of more than 60 Goretti students who walked the course at Fairgrounds Park. Some participants recognized the daily struggles of the poor by carrying pails of water as they walked. Many wore heather-gray sweatshirts identifying themselves as members of the high school's various athletic teams.

The dark skies did not dampen walkers' enthusiasm.

Hillebert said since it was not raining, he decided he could make the walk.

Even though younger participants kept passing him, Hillebert said he was contemplating another circuit.

"Three, this will be three times when I get over here, but as I always say, 'I think I can do another,'" Hillebert said.

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