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Runners hit road for Judy's Challenge

Event hosted by St. Andrew School benefited Pregnancy Ministries Inc.'s resource center

March 29, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Students from Saint Andrew School and others take off for the start of Thursday's second annual Judy's Challenge in Waynesboro, Pa.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Judy’s Challenge held Thursday afternoon not only challenged runners to complete a hilly course in their personal best times, but also to remember the community’s women and babies in need.

Named in memory of Judithann “Judy” Clement, the road race hosted by St. Andrew School benefited Pregnancy Ministries Inc.’s resource center.

Race organizer Chris Manning said she wasn’t sure whether to bring back the event for a second year. Then, school children started requesting it return.

“We sat down with the principal and talked about it. We did it because the kids wanted us to,” Manning said.

Judy Clement, a Waynesboro mother of nine children, worshipped at St. Andrew Catholic Church and supported Pregnancy Ministries. She was killed in a March 17, 2011, car crash.

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Her husband, David, cheered on runners as they crossed the finish line.

“The kids are choosing to pick a cause and literally run with it,” he said.

Judy’s Challenge raised $5,000 for Pregnancy Ministries in 2011, bringing the total from Clement memorial donations to $15,000, according to the center’s director, Bev Hannah.

That was more than one-third of the organization’s yearly budget in Waynesboro.

“They literally saved our center last year,” Hannah said.

Women using Pregnancy Ministries services earn “points” by attending classes and appointments. They use those points to obtain items such as maternity clothes and strollers.

The center provides free and confidential pregnancy tests as well as guidance for child-rearing.

David Clement said he expected the fundraising race would be a one-time event, but was pleased to hear of the requests for another.

“If good can come out of it, why not continue? ... It’s a good cause,” he said.

Waynesboro Area Senior High School track team members Brian Kendall and Ethan Mankins were the first finishers at about 8 minutes and 59 seconds.

“We weren’t really running for times, just to have fun,” said Ethan, 15.

The teenagers said they were happy to support the cause.

“I’m surprised at how big the crowd is,” Ethan said.

More than 100 youths from St. Andrew School registered, Manning said. They were joined by runners from Corpus Christi School in Chambersburg, Pa.; Waynesboro Area Middle School and Waynesboro Area Senior High School; and the adult running community.

The event received additional support from St. Rita Catholic Church in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s really easy after the (Roadside Avenue) hill,” said Trey Foreman, 12.

Waynesboro Area Middle School track team members Sara Gsell and Chelsea Cover said they enjoyed having the hill as a challenge in the 1 1/4-mile course. They turned in top times among middle-schoolers.

“It was fun, fun to run,” said Chelsea, 13.

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