In 2008, at the age of 44, Eric Morabito was experiencing many of the warning signs of a heart attack, and that was the wake-up call he needed to institute a serious lifestyle change. He promised himself and his family that he would put his health first, setting a personal goal to walk at least four miles per day, rain or shine. He hasn’t missed a day since March 15, 2009.
Years and miles later, he decided to use his walking efforts for more than just health purposes, and included a fundraising component to benefit his charity of choice, Shriners Hospitals for Children. Morabito is a Cyprus Shriner based in Glenmont, New York, so he is well versed in the great work that the Shriners fraternity does to support the hospital philanthropy.
In 2014, Morabito tasked himself with the ultimate challenge – get to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield, Massachusetts…on foot. This 160-mile journey was extremely taxing on his body, and one of the most difficult experiences he had ever endured, but recalls it was also his most proud moment. When he turned the corner and arrived at the Springfield Shriners Hospital, he was greeted by a sea of grateful Melha Shriners, cheering him on and eager to hear about his inspirational voyage.
Morabito has made the 160-mile trek to Springfield six times, and three years ago extended his route to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston. This new destination brought his total trip up to 250 miles in just nine days. In his mind, no distance is too great to travel in order to raise awareness for Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Shriners and friends have embraced his journey, inviting him into their homes to enjoy a delicious meal, take a hot shower and rest until he sets out the following day. He enjoys these moments, but also looks forward to “roughing it” wherever he is able to pitch his tent. Along the way, Morabito has developed a keen eye for picking up loose change during his travels. To date, Morabito has walked over 28,000 miles and counting, and has raised over $44,000 to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston, Erie, Philadelphia and Springfield, as well as the Cyprus Shriners transportation fund.