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A long walk for a good cause

BC grad fundraises while hiking 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail

Bethlehem Central grad Evan Finkle found a way to get away from it all and help his fellow man this summer by combining his goal of hiking the Appalachian Trail with a fundraising effort to help the Amputee Coalition of America.

After high school, Finkle found himself reticent to move on to college despite being accepted at several schools. After consulting with his parents, he made the choice many life-hungry youths do, and elected to take a year off before heading to the University of Rochester.

I decided I'm not going to have another opportunity for quite a while to take such an extended break, he said.

For his parents, putting an endorsement on the year off and the trip was a difficult decision, but it was an experience they knew would ultimately serve him well, said Lisa Finkle, Evan's mother.

"It was hard, but it was something he needed to do," she said. "I felt that if we didn't, that he would always regret not doing it."

Finkle wasn't originally sure he would hit the AT during his gap year, but he came around to the idea after several month of other adventures. From there, it was a natural step to do fundraising while he walked. He has in the past participated in Relay for Life, and his mother has done cancer walks and charity runs.

"I figured this would be something I could do on my own, and it would be a little more meaningful if I could do it to raise money with a specific cause in mind," he said.

Finkle chose to support the Amputee Coalition of America for his hike, specifically, their Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp, which provides youths the opportunity for outdoor activities they're unlikely to find elsewhere. Finkle's $2,000 in raised donations will fund two tuitions to the camp.

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