by Lisa Tome
A three decade Cecil County tradition has ended.
Organizers for the March of Dimes have announced that the annual Walkathon to benefit that charity won't be held this year. The walkathon is a deeply rooted tradition in the county. Up until 2013, it was held each May on Route 272 and in downtown North East. Last year, due to safety concerns the walk was held inside the North East Community Park.
"We had a conversation with the committee in North East in January. We got feedback. The attendance (at walkathon) has been dropping. We discussed whether it was the right thing to continue," said Aleks Casper, State Director of the Delaware Chapter for March of Dimes. "We won't do the walk in the spring."
In years past, Cecil County walkers collected pledges nearing $30,000 for the cause. Last year's tally dropped to $16,000 collected by walkers.
The committee is now taking the fundraiser in a new direction. Tentative plans include holding a Touch-A-Truck fundraiser at an as yet unselected venue in Cecil County. Touch-A-Truck has people donating all kinds of vehicles for a day. Children pay an admission fee and have a chance to tour a wide range of vehicles - construction vehicles, police cars, fire engines, etc. The plan is to hold this event in late summer or early fall.
"We're not canceling the event (walkathon). We are retooling what we are doing in Cecil County. We are still working on it," said Casper.
Casper said the Touch-A-Truck has been successful in other areas.