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Sisters take steps to fight hunger

October 04, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Sisters Judy Peck, Julie Martin and Heather Blount have plans for the first Sunday of every October.

"We walk every year" in the CROP Hunger Walk, Martin said. "Now our children walk."

"Our parents are here," Blount said.

For more than two decades, the family has participated in the CROP Hunger Walk. The sisters were among 93 walkers who raised money and circled the Waynesboro Area Senior High School track on Sunday to fight hunger.

Twenty-five percent of donations benefit local causes like The Lunch Place and New Hope Shelter, the Rev. Robert Cook said. He helped coordinate the event with the Waynesboro Area Fellowship of Churches.

Remaining funds support Church World Services, which drills wells, operates food programs and opens schools in impoverished countries, Cook said.

He estimated that only 20 percent of the contributions were submitted at the walk itself. That amount totaled $2,300.

Peck said she and her sisters solicit donations from friends and colleagues, many of whom react in surprise to learn how long Waynesboro has participated in the event. On Sunday, the women reminisced about the old, 10-mile route that challenged them every year.

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Country Club Road resident Mae Kauffman served drinks and snacks to walkers on their way past. Reaching her house often became a mental milestone, Blount said.

Cooperation with Waynesboro Area YMCA Director Alan Smith and former YMCA board member Charlie Barton developed a partnership between the CROP Hunger Walk and the Y Fun Day, Cook said. Walk registration was held at the YMCA while the facility was open for tours and activities.

The rock-climbing wall, gymnastics, an inflatable game, food and face painting kept children busy during the Fun Day.

"It's a way for us to say 'thank you' to the community," Smith said, saying he expected 600 to 700 people to visit.

YMCA officials highlighted youth programs such as child care, prekindergarten classes, soccer and basketball. Children interested in joining the swim team can attend rookie sessions from Monday to Thursday.

"We have all sorts of programs," Smith said.

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