Minister to walk 75 miles to raise money for homeless

April 14, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Runners and hurdlers will leave one lane open for a walker at the Francis Scott Key High School track meet this afternoon.

"Students will race by, but I will walk on," said the Rev. Bob Wagner.

At 33, the minister is beyond racing after track medals. He prefers dollar donations to keep the county's homeless shelters open.

The pastor of Emmanuel (Baust) Lutheran Church, who also is an after-care case manager for Human Services Programs of Carroll County, is repeating his 24-hour walkathon from last year with hopes of doubling the $5,800 he raised then.

He knows from experience he can log 75 miles and will end up with multiple blisters.

"The need is still there and we rely on local funding," said Mr. Walker. "The walk lets folks know the need and helps us catch some funds."

HSP needs about $100,000 a year in community donations to keep its three shelters operating.

To attract crowds and more pledges, FSK students have organized a block party complete with dinner, dancing and a disc jockey.

"We see this as a wonderful way to help the shelters," said Thomas J. "Tom" Michael, president of the FSK senior class.

Meets are usually free but, for this event, the students are asking spectators for a $3 donation or $10 in pledges and a dish for the potluck dinner.

"We will take a combination of all three," said Tom Michael.

Mr. Wagner said he is looking forward to the party atmosphere and the crowds. "When you raise people's spirits, anything can happen," he said.

He only hopes all the attention doesn't upset his pace.

"It is important that you find your rhythm and stick with it," he said. "Then, you won't get too tired."

Before the Tyrone pastor takes his first step at 9 a.m. today, the students have raised $1,500. Tom Michael said he knows there will be more.

The students will have breakfast ready for their guest both mornings. HSP co-workers plan to walk along and staff a camper and a first-aid station. Mr. Wagner does not trouble himself with the minor details.

"I go out and walk and let everyone else take care of the arrangements," he said.

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