91-year-old fundraises to fight hunger for 70 years

Published: Oct. 9, 2016 at 6:33 PM CDT
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Frank Medsker has walked in nearly every Hastings Crop Walk in the fight against hunger worldwide and to help feed kids in the Tri-Cities.

"When I was in college at York, Nebraska, I was involved in the first year they did this- trying to get farmers to send grain to Europe. That was in 1946," Medsker said before Sunday's walk.

The former track athlete said while the goal was the same, it wasn't always a walk.

"We raised two boxcars full of wheat and college students walked around the block to raise money, and one lady gave me a check for $25 which was really good!" he said.

You wouldn't know by looking at him- or by the fact he led the pack in Sunday's mile-long walk- that Medsker just turned 91 years young at the beginning of October.

He attributes his good health to the grace of God.

The effort put forth by Medsker and dozens of others on Sunday benefits the Hastings Public Schools' food pantry, which opened this past April and has a need for food and hygiene supplies year-round.

"Over half of our kids [60 percent] qualify for free or reduced meals and so on the weekend for some of those kids, their needs are not being met," said Hastings High School teacher, Katie Funkey. "So, this is a way to supplement that breakfast and lunch they get at school during the school week."

The remaining 75 percent of funds raised is sent to church world service to help fight hunger around the world, according to event organizers.

Medsker said the mission to help others in their time of need makes the effort worth it.

"There's a lot of hungry people in the world and even though it seems like everybody keeps asking for money and for contributions, well, there's still hungry people that need it so give as much as you can and thank God you have what you have," he said.

Early estimates on Sunday night showed more than $7,000 raised in the effort. Organizers said the event raised $12,000 in 2014 and 2015, combined.

Funkey said donors can always drop off canned good and hygiene supplies at Hastings High School at any time.

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