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Janesville students walk for poverty

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Gazette Staff
April 23, 2008
— If last year is any indicator, young people will play an important role in Sunday’s 31st annual CROP Hunger Walk in Janesville.

Students in 2007 helped city residents raise $43,156, giving Janesville a third-place standing in the state behind Madison and Milwaukee in the amount of money raised.


Funds benefit Church World Service and the local charity ECHO.


Among the young people taking part in 2007 were:


-- Declan Boran-Ragotzy, 16.


He has been walking or running in Janesville Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty Walks since he was 10. He has two goals annually: He wants to walk the 10 kilometers and to raise an amount which totals 100 times his age. Each year for the last six years, he has met his goals. He raised $1,500 last year and wants to raise $1,600 this year.


-- Fifth- and sixth-grade Sunday school classes at St. John Lutheran Church.


They challenged Pastor Bond Haldeman and Youth Minister Brian Leone to wear funny clothes and dye their hair red. But first, the classes had to raise at least $6,000 for the walk. Thinking the students would never raise that amount, the ministers agreed. However, the congregation rallied behind the young people, who raised $6,559. The men ended up wearing pink tutus.


-- Teenagers Devon Radloff and Brandon Rusch.


They were in the group of walkers from St. John. Devon has cerebral palsy and walked the distance using leg braces. Brandon injured his knee in track and used a wheelchair. The boys will be back walking again this year in a new challenge.


-- About 40 seventh and eighth graders in the confirmation classes at First Lutheran Church.


They worked hard to boost church participation in the walk. Under the guidance of their youth minister Eric Engen, they made signs to motivate and entertain walkers. They also walked in the event, raised $2,725 from the church and will be walking again this year.


The annual walks, which also will take place in Brodhead, Milton and Whitewater on Sunday, unite people of different ages, backgrounds and faiths with the common goal of raising money. Funds help people who are hungry and lack basic necessities.


Walkers can help their local food pantries even more by donating non-perishable food items on the day of the walks.



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