04/07/08 — Runners brave cold to beat hunger

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Runners brave cold to beat hunger

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 7, 2008 1:58 PM

More than 170 people ignored the cold, damp weather Sunday to show their support for the 25th annual Walk for Hunger sponsored by United Church Ministries.

The walkers and runners started off at the Herman Park gazebo and covered a 4.5-mile course that wound through much of old Goldsboro.

The first runner to return was Doug Johnson, the pastor of Jefferson United Methodist Church, who completed the course in 34 minutes. Second place went to Joey Smith of Stoney Creek Free Will Baptist Church, who finished in 42.28 minutes. The first walker to make it back was Glen Pate of Mount Carmel United Methodist Church with a finishing time of 59.28 minutes, followed by Dana Lancaster, also from Mount Carmel, who came in at 61 minutes.

The annual fundraiser raises money for short-term assistance, support and guidance for people in need. United Church Ministries is funded through contributions from churches, civic organizations, individuals and the annual walk. In an average year, walk chairman Terry Johnson said 2,300 clients will be seen for various emergency needs.

Johnson has been volunteering about 10 years, ever since he "said yes" one day thinking it would be just that one walk.

His wife, Angela, was the United Church Ministries director for a while in the mid-1990s. And after that, she kept on volunteering.

"I believe in what they're doing," Mrs. Johnson said. "It's a good cause, and there are a lot of people in Wayne County who need assistance."

The walk started out with participants from 12 churches and has grown ever since.

This year, 19 churches and 13 members of the track team from Wayne Christian School took part. United Church Ministries has 52 churches and the Goldsboro Family Y as members.

Longtime volunteer Elaine Lamm said there are usually about 30 churches participating in the annual walks, but she said the weather kept some teams away this year.

Shivering runners and walkers received a T-shirt and coffee mug from Nan Montague at the end of the walk at one of the two tables in the gazebo.

"I volunteer every Friday at the center and whenever they call me in between, but I'm always the T-shirt girl at the walks," Mrs. Montague said.

United Church Ministries has only two paid employees and lots of volunteers.

"We couldn't live without (the volunteers)," Mrs. Lamm said.