Purling's Walking Man to complete his trek on Sunday
Barbara Reina is reporting for the Times Union that Purling resident Eric Morabito, the so-called Walking Man, began his 9th annual 220-mile walk for children on Sept. 16, from his home in Greene County. Walking up Route 32, his nine-day trek takes him through Glenmont, New Lebanon, and into Massachusetts, bringing him to Boston by Sept. 24. “I start out the first day with 35 miles, three days of 30, then 20, and the last two days walking 11 and 12 miles, taking it easy at the end,” he said. This year, Morabito is raising money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield, Boston, Philadelphia and Erie; the Ronald McDonald House of the Capital Region; and the Cyprus Shriners Transportation Fund. He is dedicating the walk this year to Christopher, a teenager from the Catskills who was severely burned as an infant. Christopher has had more than 14 surgeries to date, some at Shriners Children's Boston. He has also been a patient at Albany Med for a neurological issue and stayed at the local Ronald McDonald house. Morabito took his first walk in 2014 with the support of the Shriners. “It was supposed to be a one and done,” he said. “After I did it the first time, I didn’t even know if I’d survive — that’s why I dubbed it ‘Springfield or Bust.’ One of my lodge brothers said, ‘next year, we’ll do better.’ So I thought I’ll try it again next year. And here I am, nine years later, still going at it.” Morabito started his walking regimen for health reasons and now, at 59, his personal health improvement plan has evolved into one that helps others. Morabito is already planning next year’s walk, his tenth, which he said will be his last. “I’d like to do the walk 10 times with the goal of raising a total of $100,000.” He has raised just under $68,000 so far. Read the full story in the Times Union.