“It is the greatest feeling when you finish the walk. To know how much the money we are raising is helping all of the families that are in the hospital. The walk over the past 50 years has raised 1.6 million dollars for the Free Care Fund and knowing that I have helped raise that number and will continue to help makes every second count.” -Ryan Felter (senior)

Ryan Felter and his family walked from Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. The walk takes two days to complete, and it occurs on the first Friday and Saturday of December every year. This is a long distance but because of other circumstances they are not able to walk the whole distance. Ryan said, “We walk just about 55 of the 100 miles because we can not walk on highways and dangerous roads. While on the walk we also stand at intersections to collect money, take time to stop at an old peoples [nursing] home and spend time with them and stop at a fire hall that feeds us lunch.” That is still a long distance to walk especially if the weather is not good. Even though this is a long trip Ryan says “There really is no worst part of the walk every step is worth it.”

The most direct route from Thiel College to UPMC Children’s Hospital is 74.1 miles, but the route Ryan walked was 55 miles.

“I got introduced to the walk through my parents, my dad graduated from Thiel College and was in the Phi-Theta-Phi fraternity that does this walk. This year was the 50th annual walk and my 8th year on the walk.”

Every year Ryan stays motivated to do this walk, he tells us what keeps him going, “What motivates me to do this walk is knowing how many people I am helping by raising money. There is a lot of children in that hospital that are a lot less fortunate than I am and knowing that I am helping them is the best feeling in the world. Especially right before the holiday season of Christmas and the new year I can not imagine what it would feel like to be spending those in a hospital so collecting money and knowing this is going to help them is what motivates me.”

By: Jessie Mellon, Megan Robbibaro, Bree Nowka, and Catie Shields.

The shoes that Ryan wore for the walk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.