Elgin, Neb. pastor to walk 195 miles to raise funds for parish - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Elgin, Neb. pastor to walk 195 miles to raise funds for parish

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Rev. Ross Burkhalter plans to walk the 195-mile Cowboy Trail to raise money for his Elgin, Neb. parish. Rev. Ross Burkhalter plans to walk the 195-mile Cowboy Trail to raise money for his Elgin, Neb. parish.
ELGIN, NE (KTIV/US92) -
The leader of the St Boniface Church in Elgin, Neb. says you hear about fundraising "athons" all the time.

"Walk-athons, bake-athons, dance-athons and I thought, why not have a walk-athon that seems to have a goal to it," said St. Boniface Pastor Rev. Ross Burkhalter.

The parish has been working since December to raise $250,000 to fund the removal of asbestos from their gymnasium ceiling. 

In January, Rev. Burkhalter got an ambitious idea on how to help raise the needed funds.

"I have always wanted to walk the Cowboy Trail and I thought why not walk the entire trail," said Burkhalter. "People could contribute whatever amount per mile like you would for any other walkathon."

The Cowboy Trail in its entirety stretches 195 miles from Valentine, Neb. to Norfolk. 

The church set up contribution levels for members of the congregation to give. The levels varied from ground squirel, a 25 cent per mile contribution all the way up to Eagle which is a dollar per mile.

The response has amazed the leadership of the congregation.

"I am very edified, very humbled, very gratified at people's generosity," said Burkhalter. "It just seems to have captured a number of people's imaginations, this whole notion that I will walk the entire Cowboy Trail."

As of Monday, St. Boniface Church has raised nearly $120,000 towards their asbestos project and have almost 70 pledges for the Cowboy Up Fundraiser. 

So what will Rev. Burkhalter do during his 195 mile trek across the Cowboy Trail? 

He says it will be a combination of prayer and getting close to God's nature.

"Nebraska is a very very beautiful state, especially up in this northern part," said Burkhalter. "I think it is really is exhibited in what you see in the Cowboy Trail."

Rev. Burkhalter plans to start walking the Cowboy Trail towards Norfolk early Tuesday morning, and his intent is to walk nearly 40 miles a day.     
His goal is to complete the trail sometime next weekend. 
    
If you would like to donate to the fundraiser, contact the St. Boniface Church in Elgin.
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