Sam Luptak Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Walkers of all ages and from across the county wound their way through the streets of New Castle on Saturday.
They were participating in a 5K walk-a-thon to benefit the Gussie M. Walker Community Outreach and Walker house, located on the city’s South Side.
Event organizer Kathy Pugh noted that the nearly 50 walkers who participated in the second annual event more than doubled last year’s 23 walkers.
While the Walker House and Outreach are located in St. John’s United Holy Church on Moravia Street, it was more than just members of that church who participated. More than 30 sponsors offered donations, prizes or gifts to the project.
Each walker was asked to raise at least $100 for the walkathon. The highest money raiser was Gary Shear, who raised over $800.
All proceeds benefit the Walker House, which provides after-school programming for students and youth. In addition to tutoring from Westminster College students, Pugh said, the program features a computer lab, a light meal and a wide range of other activities.
“We also offer a summer program from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with field trips, Pirates games, daily lunches and a variety of other programs,” Pugh said.
The first project the walk-a-thon will be used to benefit will be to build a picnic shelter near the church to be used for the Walker Outreaches’ summer programming.
After completing Saturday’s 5K walk, participants were invited to enjoy pizza, water, fruit, and other snacks provided by the church, while Farone’s DJ service provided music and awarded various prizes.
Program director Carol Barber explained an underlying purpose of the walk-a-thon.
“We want to get our name out there,” she said. “We have been servicing the community since 2006. We want people to know we are here and why we are here — to help the kids.
“Our community is Lawrence County. We would like to expand, but we need help from the community to that. If we get the money, we will expand so we can help even more kids.”