CHOP CEO and founder Dani Ruhf (center) meets with Pivot Physical Therapy employees Shane Chapman (left) and Bill Frye on Monday morning at the Pivot facility in Tunkhannock. Within minutes, Frye stepped off on a 23.7-mile walk to Wyalusing – the first leg of his annual five-day Walk For Hunger that ends in Canton on Friday.
Photo and story by Rick Hiduk
(Exclusive to EndlessMtnLifestyles.com readers)
For a ninth summer, Pivot physical therapist Bill Frye has embarked on his annual Walk For Hunger. Between Monday and Friday, Frye, who works at the Pivot facility in Troy and serves the Troy School District as an athletic trainer, will walk just a bit over 100 miles from Wyoming County through Bradford County. At 8 am on June 19, he stepped off from the Pivot facility in Tunkhannock and will wrap up the day in Wyalusing.
For the first two years of his fundraising endeavor, he started in Wyalusing and finished approximately 75 miles away in Canton a few days later. “I’m not a runner,” Frye explained. “But I wanted to do something different with some significant mileage.” The farther he walked, the more attention his efforts drew and, in most years, the more money he was able to raise for the Child Hunger Outreach Partners (CHOP).
Initially, Frye distributed the money he collected to individual food banks along the route, but the logistics of communicating with separate entities was a bit awkward. Then, he learned about CHOP, which focuses on food insecurity among families in need in both counties.
“Bill reached out to us and asked if he could walk to raise funds for CHOP,” CEO and founder Dani Ruhf said of the partnership between them that began in 2019. “Only a silly person could have said ‘No.’”
“It really blew up during COVID,” Frye noted. “In 2021, we raised a record amount just under $8,000.”
In addition to individual donations, which can be handled securely online or in person at any Pivot facility, businesses along the route have come to anticipate the event and routinely donate top-value prizes given away to donors via a raffle. Businesses also make direct monetary donations and find other creative ways to participate.
“Everybody loves this,” Ruhf maintained. “The businesses have been so supportive, and the raffle items are very popular.”
On Tuesday, Frye will trek from Wyalusing to North Towanda. Wednesday’s leg will take him to Athens. On Thursday, he moves on to Troy. And he concludes his journey with the final stretch to Canton on Friday. As of today’s forecast, it appears that the weather will be favorable for his journey, with only slight chances for showers until Friday afternoon.
“For the most part, I’ve been blessed with how good the weather has been,” Frye related. “I’ve only been rained on a few times.” If necessary, Frye can sit out a shower with Pivot coworker Shane Chapman, who shadows him on the walk and provides food and respite at six- to seven-mile breaking points.
The first day can be the toughest, Frye explained, as the terrain along Route 6 from Tunkhannock to Wyalusing is especially hilly. He is often joined for a few miles from Troy to Canton by long-time supporter and Wiggle 100 radio personality Shane Wilbur, as well as Frye’s son, Joseph. Otherwise, Frye doesn’t encourage others to walk with him, as road conditions vary and some stretches of the highway are less safe than others.
He noted that road construction can slow him down and further impede his safety. This reporter, in fact, saw Frye traversing a narrow berm in the face of oncoming traffic in a construction zone between Russell Hill and Meshoppen on Monday morning that affirmed his precautions.
Interested readers can follow Frye’s adventure on his Facebook page (William Frye), Athletico-PIVOT Walk For Hunger, and the page managed by Child Hunger Outreach Partners. Participating businesses and raffle prizes can also be found on those pages. Online donations can be made through the following link: Child Hunger Outreach Partners – PIVOT WALK for Hunger 2023 (networkforgood.com)