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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    W. Drew Heitzenrater wins the first annual UNY Annual Conference Step Challenge

    June 17, 2016 / By UNY Communications

    Congratulations to W. Drew Heitzenrater, retired clergy, who won the first annual UNY Annual Conference Step Challenge by logging 92,496 steps between June 2 and 4. He is the winner of a $25 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods store.

    So how did Drew accomplish this feat? For the challenge, he simply decided to get as many steps as he could. He walked the dog three times a day, went to the gym, walked to the Post Office, and took long hikes. He also worked in his yard and mowed the lawn. Drew stated he does most of these activities anyway, but intensified his efforts for the three days during the challenge and was able to double his usual daily average.

    The top five step-getters are rounded out with:

    Brian Rotach, Clergy at Seneca Street UMC (77,274)

    Matthew Kofahl, Clergy at Hope of Niagara County UMC and Niagara Falls Saint James UMC (77,002)

    Donna Stone-Weaver, spouse of Conference Accountant Mike Weaver (68,421)

    Matthew Williams, Director of Sky Lake Camp & Retreat Center (65,243)

    Over the three day period, a total of 2,403,896 steps were taken by 74 participants, with an average of 27,010 steps taken per person.

    The Benefits Office wants to thank all those who participated and encouraged others to participate, making health and wellness an important aspect of their Annual Conference experience.


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."