Walkers takin' it to the streets

August 29, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Barking dogs proved to be the scariest things encountered by a group walking in Waynesboro's downtown Tuesday evening.

In a recent survey, one in two borough respondents said they don't feel safe downtown after dark. Another 33 percent were undecided.

The Walkers of Waynesboro, a group formed earlier this summer, hit the pavement at 7 p.m. to stroll two miles on Main Street.

"Citizens need to take back their town," said Carole L. Malin, an administrator for nonprofit organization Main Street Waynesboro Inc.

The sun stayed up for most of the group's journey from Center Square to Fairview Avenue to Clayton Avenue and back to Center Square. Walkers of Waynesboro picked up at least three new members in the process.


The $12 registration fee buys a WOW T-shirt. Walkers track miles on calendars and earn incentives.

They also are eligible for discounts at businesses each month.

During the walk, participants met Barry Sonne, who owns Castle Fabrics and Home Decor with his wife. The business is providing a discount in September for registered walkers.

One couple was sporting new sneakers they purchased at James Shoes, which has been offering 20 percent off walking shoes for WOW members.

"The goal is to promote health and get people downtown," said Kelli Hess, one of the WOW organizers.

She and Malin both paused while walking to comment on newer businesses they had never noticed.

Vicki Jones, of Waynesboro, joined the club for the health aspect.

"I got involved because my doctor told me that I've got to start walking," she said.

Stanley and Ruth Davis walked with their dog, Chewy. The trio lives downtown.

"We're really environmentalists, so we think we need more walking," Ruth Davis said. "We are concerned about global warming and the planet."

The Davises got rid of their car in 1992 and try to shop locally. They lamented the loss of several stores, but talked about how much they like others.

"It's a shame there are so many empty stores, and they keep building new buildings," Ruth Davis said.

When they returned to WOW headquarters at Country Expressions (717-765-9600), several walkers said they would like to hold a group event monthly.

They might have another member, following one exchange Tuesday.

A woman shouted to Malin as she passed in a red car.

"What's your shirt say?" the woman asked.

When Malin explained the concept and how to join, the woman smiled.

"I like that," she said.

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