Fresh air, exercise and a good cause.
That's what drew hundreds of Yorkers to the annual CROP Walk on Sunday afternoon at five locations.
"I thought it would be a good thing to do," said Cheryl Drake, 63, of Spring Garden Township.
She was walking the miniature loop in John Rudy County Park with her husband, Carlos Drake, 83.
"It's for a good cause, and it gives us a chance to be out and about," said Drake.
CROP is an acronym for Communities Responding to Overcoming Poverty. Participants seek sponsors and donations, and CROP contributes 25 percent of the walk money to local food pantries and feeding programs.
The rest of the donations are given to Church World Service, which distributes funds to more than 400 world hunger programs that help people in need.
More than 300 people participated in the walk at John Rudy County Park, organized by the York County Council of Churches.
Gene Chisholm, 88, was walking for the seventh year in a row.
Using a cane to help him walk does not slow him down.
"My wife always asks me when I'm going to retire," Chisholm said with a laugh. "I tell her that if God had retirement in his vocabulary he would have retired after Adam, but he didn't."
Chisholm still runs the Yokefellowship Prison Ministry, leading a Bible study with prison inmates on a weekly basis, and calls it York's "best kept secret."
"God willing I'll be around for CROP Walk next year too," the West Manchester Township resident said.
He walked with Jane Powell, Sally Sheaffer and Susan Emmons. Chisholm, Powell and Sheaffer all attend Calvary United Methodist Church, and Emmons is the pastor at St. Paul's United Methodist Church. Together they raised more than $1,00.
The churches of Loganville, Jacobus and Seven Valleys sponsored a CROP Walk that started and ended at Mount Zion United Methodist Church.
About 40 people participated, and more than $3,600 was raised at their location, said coordinator Treva Stiles.
The 71 participants at the walk that met at Zwingli United Church of Christ, had a choice of a 2- or 5-mile walk through the East Berlin area, said coordinator Carolyn Weaver.
"We had 12 churches represented," Weaver said. "The youngest walker was 12 months old, and we had many many retirees."
CROP Walks were also held in Glen Rock and Hanover on Sunday, but the total funds raised have not yet been calculated, said Teann Scoggins, walk co-chairwoman.
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