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Spencerville Pathfinders’ 12-Hour Rock-a-thon Helps Homeless Persons

Story by Lisa Saveikis Burrow
Published 4/18/13

Spencerville’s Pathfinders listen intently during a worship held before their 12-hour rock-a-thon to help the homeless. 

It was around 7 p.m., when something strange started happening at Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church. People started carrying rocking chairs of all shapes and sizes into the Silver Spring, Md.-church’s fellowship hall. At 7:30 p.m., Sherri Ingram-Hudgins presented worship along with her friend Jerry, a formerly homeless man who is now a recovering addict and a Christian. Ingrahm-Hudgins is the founder of A Hat for Harold, a charity that provides micro-grants to the homeless.
Around 8 p.m., 18 of the Spencerville Polar Bear Pathfinders, wearing neon-green T-shirts inscribed with the words “I Rocked,” got into those rocking chairs. Their goal? To rock for part or all of the next 12 hours and raise $300 for A Hat for Harold. Each Pathfinder had collected pledges from family, friends and neighbors. The pledges were based on a certain amount per hour rocked or a flat amount for participating. Each Pathfinder had to gather $25 in pledges from family, friends and neighbors and make their own personal pledge toward their goal. Most far exceed the $25 minimum.

Throughout the night, the Pathfinders played some games, read books, crocheted and had some snacks. Around 1 a.m., they phoned Ingram-Hudgins and woke her up to tell her about the pledge total: $2,150! She was stunned.
Throughout the night, some of the rockers retired at their pre-designated curfew time into the sleeping areas. A few ignored their curfew and kept going. Others rocked on through the night to make their goal. When the rocking slowed and stopped, the chaperones sat nearby and continued to rock the chairs to keep the Pathfinders going and going and going!
At 8 a.m. the bright spring sunshine was already streaming in the windows and the Pathfinders counted down the seconds to conclude the rock-a-thon. Relieved sighs, smiles, stretches and sleepy eyes were greeted with hot chocolate and donuts and then breakfast.
The idea for the rock-a-thon came from 12-year-old Aaron Burrow who is a seventh-grader at Spencerville Adventist Academy. The church’s Pathfinder leaders, who include Rochelle Swanson and Scott Kuczma, thought it was a great, creative idea that would get all the Pathfinders involved in really relevant community service.
Looking back, organizers say the event showed them how incredibly giving their Pathfinders are and they hope to have a similar event next year. 

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