Cattle Walk on last round-up

Some good things must come to end. After 14 successful years as a fund-raiser for the Mennonite Relief Sale, this will be the last time volunteers will lead cattle from Hillsboro to Hutchinson to raise money for Mennonite Central Committee?s relief, development and service work around the world.

The Cattle Walk, which began in 1986, raised $30,000 for the sale last year.

?It has been a good promotion for us,? said Richard Ediger, sale chair.

During the event, which begins at the Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro, about 150 people will alternately walk six cows the 52 miles between the two cities.

The walk begins at 8 p.m., April 15, and continues through Goessel, Moundridge, Inman and Buhler. It ends at the fairgrounds in Hutchinson at 5:30 p.m. April 7.

Walkers receive pledges for each mile they will walk.

Why end such a successful fund-raiser?

?We?re mainly stopping because of safety on the roads,? Kevin Krehbiel said.

He said because traffic continues to increase along the route, concern was growing about the safety of the walkers.

Several people have participated every year.

?It kind of turned into a lot of grandparents who like to walk with their grandchildren,? Krehbiel said. ?It?s still popular.?

Harold and Shirley Kasper, Hillsboro, have been helping with the walk since it began in 1986.

?It?s just the idea of helping people out to raise money for MCC,? Harold said.

He said it was something different and he and Shirley enjoy doing it. People stop and look, wondering what is going on as the procession walks by. Motorists usually do a double-take.

?I guess it?s kind of unique to see someone leading a beef animal down the road,? Krehbiel said.

Ediger said they would have to find something to replace it, but he was not sure what that would be.

The event began as a dairy walk to help promote the sale. The cows were then sold at the sale.

Krehbiel said they quit selling the animals at the sale because people lost interest in them.

After they quit walking the dairy cows, the Cattle Walk was begun.

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