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Pa. event helps fight poverty

October 02, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - On Scott Bergens' feet were the sneakers he uses so frequently now, but on his mind remained a series of numbers.

Thirty-two, the age at which he was told by a doctor that he could have a stroke at any time.

One wife.

Two children.

Fifty-one pounds lost since May 17. Nineteen more to go.

The contribution to his personal success was spelled out on his face ? literally ? when Bergens had "YMCA" written in paint across his forehead and 2006 on each of his cheeks, which were spread wide with a smile as he embarked on the 35th annual CROP Hunger Walk. The walk departed from the Waynesboro YMCA and circled the Waynesboro Area Senior High School track.

"I figured that's the least I could do with everything the 'Y' has done for me," Bergens said.

Bergens clutched a small card with another important number, 6.5, for the miles he would walk Sunday. That would not have been possible earlier this year, he said.

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Bergens and other participants grasped the event slogan "We walk because they walk" and raised more than $6,500 to fight poverty. Twenty-five percent of proceeds are earmarked for The Lunch Place, a Waynesboro initiative to serve hot meals daily. A total of $210,000 has been raised in the previous 34 years, not including this year's amount.

Sunday's walk brought out about 100 people of all ages.

"That's more than double what we had last year," said Janet Brockmann, who organized the event through the Waynesboro Area Fellowship of Churches.

Waynesboro 7-year-olds Alyson Klink and Jordyn McCleaf learned that the walk is "to stop hunger and give money to the people who are poor and don't have money," Alyson said.

The two had ice cream before taking the first step, but had prepared for the path ahead of them.

"I did little exercises while I was at my house," Alyson said. "I jogged around my house."

Bergens' preparation was more involved, with time spent on the exercise bike, treadmill and step machine. It also involved getting his hair sprayed with glitter.

"You're supposed to be raising money, but you're supposed to be having fun, too," he said.

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