Benefit begins in Brazil

Friday, December 10, 2010
Clay County Council President Mike McCullough (left) and United Way of the Wabash Valley Executive Director Troy Fears prepare to leave the YMCA of Clay County as part of "Two Cold Men Walking."

Braving the elements can be difficult.

But Mother Nature took a day off Friday as United Way of the Wabash Valley Campaign Chairman Tim Sturgess and UWWV Executive Director Troy Fears took part in "Two Cold Men Walking," a benefit for the local organization and its partner agencies.

The purpose of the event was to help raise awareness of childhood obesity.

Fears told The Brazil Times he and Sturgess started drumming up ideas earlier this year regarding issues close to home. The topic of childhood obesity came up and the benefit was born.

"We thought, what could we do," Fears said.

Sturgess said while he has taken part in a half-marathon in the past, this was a first for him.

"I've never walked 17 miles," he said.

The walk began at the YMCA of Clay County, 225 E. Kruzan St., Brazil, coming to United States 40 and heading east, concluding 17 miles later at the Terre Haute Boys' and Girls' Club. It was scheduled to last approximately seven hours.

Decked out in warm clothing, Fears and Sturgess were joined along the way by several area officials, including Clay County Commissioner Paul Sinders, Clay County Council President Mike McCullough, Terre Haute Savings Bank Brazil Branch Manager Tyler Fischer, YMCA of Clay County Executive Director Deb Plummer, and St. Vincent Clay Hospital representative Andrea Baysinger all took part.

Sinders said he was looking forward to the event.

"I think it's great," he said. "It's a great opportunity for the Y and United Way to come together and put emphasis on something locally."

Sturgess and Fears both took two 10-minute breaks during the walk and received escorts from the Clay County Sheriff's Department, the Vigo County Sheriff's Department and the Terre Haute Police Department during the trek.

The local United Way was also seeking donations via text messaging throughout the day, a type of donation Fears said would continue through January.

He added UWWV is 80 percent close to its 2010 campaign goal of $1.8 million.

"We're slightly ahead of where we were last year," he said.

"But we need that final push," Sturgess added.

Make a Difference

The United Way of the Wabash Valley has set up "text-to-give," in an effort to help raise money for local organizations and the United Way's 2010 general campaign. To help donate $5 to the organization, those interested may text "uwwv" to 20222. All funds go toward the 2010 United Way campaign, which has a goal of raising $1.8 million for partner agencies.

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