The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 6, 2013

Person of the Week: Walking the walk: Sunday school teacher shines a light on Camp PARC

JOHNSTOWN — Chrissy Troxell and her fellow volunteers have a track record of raising plenty of money to benefit Camp PARC, a weeklong summer camp for adults and children with special needs.

Over the past three years, they have raised about $60,000 through the Laps of Light walk.

This year’s walk is scheduled Sunday afternoon at Conemaugh Township Area High School Memorial Stadium, 300 W. Campus Ave., Davidsville.

Troxell, who also is a volunteer at Camp PARC, started the event six years ago as a way to teach a Bible lesson.

A Sunday school teacher at St. David’s Lutheran Church in Davidsville, Troxell said the best way to teach her grades 4, 5 and 6 students about the importance of helping others was to actually do so.

Troxell said she and her students then organized the first walk, which raised $3,000 for Camp PARC.

“The students loved it,” she said.

The excitement over the event has grown, she said. Thanks to the increasing number of people and sponsors who are helping the students and the walkers, the amount of money raised has increased, said Troxell, who for the sixth consecutive year is chairwoman of the event.

Many of her students have become volunteers at Camp PARC, which stands for People Always Responding with Compassion.

“It’s inspiring,” she said about seeing her students involved with helping.

“These children are our future. If they are this excited (about community service) when they are young, imagine what they will accomplish when they are adults.”

Troxell said the camp directors, Ted and Judy Risch, and the Risches’ daughter, Sarah Wallace, do a fabulous job of leading the camp each year.

All the volunteers, including the children, also do a fantastic job at the weeklong event, she said.

“I am honored to be with this group of people,” Troxell said, adding that her three children are among those volunteers.

For Sunday’s walk, the gates open at 3:30 p.m. and the walk begins at 4:30. The final laps, will take place after sunset and are called the Laps of Light because walkers will carry lighted candles.

A variety of activities and food prepared by Thomahawk grocery in Davidsville will be available. People can register for the event at Boss Frog from Froggy 95 will be the master of ceremonies.

The cost to walk is $10 for an adult and $5 for a child.

A T-shirt promoting the event will be given to each walker.

People can register the day of the event for an additional $5.

Last year the event attracted 650 walkers, she said.

Troxell said her husband, Bob, and parents, Al and Kathy Carnahan of Soap Hollow, have been a big help in organizing the walk.

Sponsors for the event are The Shirt Shop n’ More, Hollsopple; Sheetz; UPMC; Stacy and Paul Wheeler, Somerset area; Somerset Trust Co.; Martella’s Pharmacies; CPV Graphics, Boswell; George E. Mason Funeral Home, Davidsville; Jerome Polish Falcons; and McIlwain Bus Lines, Johnstown.

For her efforts at leading the event, Troxell, a Soap Hollow resident, is the Person of the Week.

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