CROP Walkers put their best feet forward

October 08, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Chris Brown had little sleep after his homecoming festivities, but, fueled by a hot dog, he joined more than 100 other people in Sunday's CROP Walk in Waynesboro.

"This must be a record crowd," Janet Brockmann told the walkers before they stepped off.

Brockmann, who organized the event through the Waynesboro Area Fellowship of Churches, said earlier in the day that she hoped to at least come close to the number of walkers who participated in 2006.

That year had 115 participants, up from 41 in 2005. The increase came, in part, from moving the walk from area streets to the Waynesboro Area School District's track.

"Last year, for the first time, we changed our whole route," Brockmann said.

Walkers made four loops of the track to fulfill a mile. They had the option of walking four miles or six miles for the event.


CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walks are designed to fight hunger. Fourteen churches and the Waynesboro YMCA partnered for the event.

Lorraine Burcker, of Zullinger, Pa., participated in the CROP Walk after a hiatus.

"I walked when they used to walk up around Gehr Road," she said.

Burcker talked to family and friends to raise money, after becoming reacquainted with the event through Faith United Methodist Church in Waynesboro.

The CROP Walk is "for people who 'have' to share with people who don't 'have,'" she said.

Debbie Pagach served as the recruiter for her church, The Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ in Wayne Heights, Pa.

Walkers were commissioned during the morning service, she said.

"I think a strong point is that 25 percent of the money comes back to support people in our community," Pagach said.

She first participated in CROP Walk in the early 1970s when her youth group walked from Waynesboro to the Penn State Mont Alto campus.

In 2007, Brown was experiencing something similar.

"They mentioned it at our youth group meetings, and I thought it'd be a cool thing to do because it's something good you can do for people," he said.

Brown, who participated with Waynesboro's Evangelical Lutheran Church, raised money by talking to people in church, school and his neighborhood.

Tina Freeman and her 9-year-old daughter, Katie, raised money from family and friends, after signing up for the first time through Quincy (Pa.) United Methodist Church.

"I would tell (new walkers) that first, everyone needs exercise, and second, it's a good way to get exercise and help others," Brown said.

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