Saturday, June 8 was a gorgeous day, partly sunny and a pleasant in the mid-70’s for a perfect day at the C&O Canal towpath and Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Retreat Center. The historic tree-lined path provided cool cover as well as amazing river views and diverse nature. Shepherd’s Spring provided a serene setting for check-in and our picnic at a pavilion nested in the woods.
“Who ordered up the perfect weather?” asked several volunteers and participants. “That was a blessing from God” we replied. The whole day felt like a blessing as participants showed up in good numbers (140 people), everyone was in good humor, many volunteers set up food, checked people in, and provided transportation and hospitality. And approximately $14,500 was raised in the process for HARC and Micah’s Backpack, with about $6,000 going directly to purchase food for Micah’s Backpack.
After a lovely day walking on the towpath, participants enjoyed a picnic lunch with music at the celebration pavilion. Photos taken during the event were displayed on a TV screen while hikers/runners enjoyed fellowship and a meal.
While most people walked the 4K, 10K or half marathon distances, there were several runners who enjoyed the chance to stretch their legs on a great section of the towpath. “The hospitality stations were perfectly timed” said Chelsey Martin, who ran the half marathon. “I drank a bunch of Gatorade at Dam Number 4. And the fruit was great.”
There are many people and organizations to thank for making this event happen:
- The HARC Hike planning team and “boots on the ground” coordinating: Rev. Ed Poling, Bill Pike, Carla Charles, Beth Johnston, Butch Eigenbrode, Ed Maloy, Kyle Powderly, and Kathy Powderly.
- George Rae for managing the HARC Hike Facebook page and taking pictures before and during the event.
- Radio communications and sweepers provided by Antietam Radio Association (ARA)
- Hospitality teams from: Hebron Mennonite Church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Church of the Holy Trinity UCC.
- Transportation provided by: Christ’s Reformed Church (Art Burgan), Celebration Ministries (driven by Joe Craig), Hagerstown Church of the Nazarene (Allen Yoder), St. John’s Episcopal Church (Bob Rauth), and Sword Charter Service.
- Registration, lunch/celebration, handlers, “aid” walkers, and parking volunteers: Charlotte Trout, Loyal Vanderveer, Frank Ducey, Missy Dehaven, Shelby Dehaven, Mike & Carol Brashears, and Noel & Shari Williams.
- Numerous congregations that promoted the hike, Lou Scally and WJEJ, and WDVM
- If we missed anyone, we are sorry and we are grateful for your help!!
Immense gratitude goes out to our sponsors:
Holcim and JLG
Ewing Oil, Harman Funeral Home, Rotary Club of Hagerstown, and Unitarian Universalist Church of Hagerstown
Antietam Radio Association, Brethren Mutual Insurance Company, Giant/Martin’s, Hub Labels, MS Johnston Company, St. Andrews UMC, and Trinity Lutheran Church
Allegany Dental Care, Bitner-Henry Insurance Agency Group, Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Retreat Center, and Washington County Hunger Group