By Tim Johnson
FORT WAYNE — They laced up their best walking shoes and walked through Fort Wayne, all for a cause of Luers Spirit. Some ran the six- mile course, others walked with their friends for a pleasant stroll.
Bishop Luers High School hosted its 31st annual Walkathon on Friday, Oct. 7, with a goal of raising $45,000.
“The funds for Walkathon are part of the general operating budget,” said Jenny Andorfer, the Bishop Luers High School Walkathon coordinator.
“Having this additional money in our general operating fund is similar to our other major fundraisers — it helps us across the board so that we can keep our tuition rate at a reasonable level,” Andorfer added.
All Bishop Luers’ students participate in the Walkathon. Each student is required to raise $75.
“They all either walk or they work,” Andorfer said. Some students who are unable to walk because of injuries or other reasons, still are required to participate by manning a checkpoint or in the cafeteria.
Nearly 150 parent and patron volunteers and the staff assist in the Walkathon. They supply manpower to one of the 15 checkpoints the walkers pass through.
The day began with the celebration of Mass, followed by some instructions. The walkers passed through 15 checkpoints where cards were stamped. They walked from the high school to the Woodhurst neighborhood, through Foster Park and then back to Bishop Luers. Lunch was provided and then the students were free to go home for the rest of the day.
Chris Heiny, a freshman from St. John the Baptist Parish, Fort Wayne, was eager to participate in the Walkathon for the first time. His grandmother, Dorothy “Doy” Heiny, 94, also planned to walk the six-mile trek with her grandson. She has participated in Walkathon for the last few years.
Chris Heiny said of his grandmother, “She is very mentally sharp. I don’t think I’ve ever won a game of Scrabble against her. Walking and Scrabble is what she says keeps her sharp.”
Chris raised money, and being a member of the swim team, he felt like he was in good shape and prepared for the walk.
Drew Morken, a senior from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, said, “It’s a nice way to fundraise. It’s really nice to get everyone together and walk through the Luers community. It’s a real witness through the family bonding aspect of it all. It’s always fun to go out there with your friends and walk.”
Morken was pleased the weather cooperated this year with warmth and sunshine. Having walked in four Walkathons, “(the weather has) been kind of nasty the last couple years,” Morken said.
Luke Scheiber, a freshman from St. Mary Church in Huntington, had the distinction of raising the most money for Walkathon.
“I have a big family,” Scheiber told Today’s Catholic. “I just asked people I knew, people who had kids at Luers, friends of my sister who graduated two years ago, and my older sisters too.”
Scheiber is one of eight siblings. He brought in just over $1,200, which awarded him an iPad.
“He really worked hard,” Andorfer said.
Scheiber said he looked forward to hanging out with his friends at the Walkathon — and the short day. He planned to go home that afternoon and then mow his grandma’s lawn — on the riding lawnmower.
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