Community service

Bedford, PA-Reels Corner, PA, 18.3 miles

If there is one thing I hope to accomplish on my walk, it is to inspire people to look within their own community and make it a better place to live.

In Reels Corner I met Central City resident Craig Shaw, who is working to make college more affordable for his neighbors. Shaw organizes a fund-raising golf tournament at the Northwinds Golf Course on Indian Lake. Money raised benefits a scholarship program at the high school. In just a few years Shaw told me they had raised as much as $40,000, enough to give $1,000 to every student in the school who is planning to go to college.

Though there is no simple solution to poverty in this country, education is a start. And with the average cost of tuition at a public four year college at $6,585 (up 6.4 percent from last year) every little bit counts. Of course college will still be out of reach for many potential students. Others will find they cannot raise enough funds to finish their eduction. But even finishing just a year or two is an accomplishment.

Central City should be proud to have residents who not only want to see their neighbors succeed in life, but who actually take the time to make it happen.

–By Jennifer E. Cooper