A funny segment on the Daily Show about walkathons reminded me about something that I’ve been meaning to ask. Do any modern-day walkathon administrators (or the pledge sponsors) give a crap anymore how far the participants actually walk?
Let me provide a little backstory. I remember when the concept of the walkathon was brand new, in the 1960s or the very early 1970s. My sister, who was in grade school or HS at the time, signed up as a walker for big name charity walkathon. She got a pledge sheet that asked sponsors to donate a certain amount per mile that she walked, with a maximum of, say, 20 miles. When she did the walk, there were checkpoints every mile to certify her progress; they would stamp her tally sheet like she was visiting the Russian Sector of Berlin after WWII or something. And when it was over, she only got paid for the miles she walked.
These early walkathons made no bones about the fact that the amount a sponsor would be required to pay was directly proportional to the amount the participant suffered. This, in my opinion, captures the full spirit of anything ending in “-athon,” and is how it should be.
But is this how it’s done today? My (admittedly modest) experience is that it’s not. You pledge a big fat amount to some schmo in the office, they show up and walk a few token miles, maybe someone certifies that they did it or maybe not, then your coworker asks you for your lump of money.
Am I wrong? Does anyone do it the old fashioned way anymore?