Community stroll aims to combat hunger

More than 250 turned out on a sunny day to enjoy a brisk walk and a chance to fight hunger at the fourth annual Greenwich/Port Chester Crop Hunger Walk. The walkers included Selectman David Theis and state Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151st District). — John Ferris Robben photo

More than 250 turned out on a sunny day to enjoy a brisk walk and a chance to fight hunger at the fourth annual Greenwich/Port Chester Crop Hunger Walk. The walkers included Selectman David Theis and state Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151st District).
— John Ferris Robben photo

It was all sunshine and smiles last Sunday at the fourth annual Greenwich/Port Chester Crop Hunger Walk, but the purpose of the event was anything but fun and games.

The two-mile walk was held to raise funds to combat hunger both locally and around the world.

But under sunny skies and a good breeze, more than 250 friends and neighbors of all ages, along with plenty of their four-legged friends, turned up for the event, which was kicked off at the walk’s headquarters at the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich with refreshments and a rally. Other pre-walk activities included a stretching warm-up led by trainer Peter Deleary of The Fitness Edge, as well as displays by the Carver Center and Neighbor to Neighbor food pantries, One World, and The Pet Pantry, which handed out treats to each of the canine walkers.

According to walk coordinator Edward MacDowell, Sunday’s event was the fourth Greenwich/Port Chester Walk, but the sixth overall, as the first two walks were held for the Port Chester and Rye, N.Y., communities. The first five walks raised nearly $70,000, and organizers hope to make it $90,000 by the conclusion of this year’s donation period at the end of June. After raising $14,000 at this year’s event, Mr. MacDowell said there is still time to reach the 2013 goal of collecting $20,000, with funds still trickling in both online and through snail mail.

Seventy-five percent of the funds raised at the event will go to help fund the worldwide work of Church World Service (CWS), an organization that for more than 60 years has helped fight poverty, hunger and disease, and also provides emergency materials and funding following natural or man-made disasters. The remaining 25% is split between the town’s Neighbor to Neighbor food pantry and the Carver Center food pantry of Port Chester, both of which also collected and split food donations on the day of the walk, according to Joshua Thomsen, director of Children & Youth and Communication for the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich.

A number of churches and organizations in the Greenwich and Port Chester communities were involved in the planning and implementation of this year’s Crop Hunger Walk, including Greenwich Boy Scouts, who hosted a rest stop at Scout headquarters on Mason Street during the event. Selectman David Theis and state Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151st District), along with his faithful canine companion Rudy, were among the walkers.

The walk concluded at Christ Church, where each participant was welcomed back with a gift of thanks in the form of a sneaker-shaped lapel pin, along with refreshments and camaraderie with fellow walkers.

The walk may be over, but donations are still welcome. Online donations may be made through the end of May at crophungerwalk.org/greenwichct. Direct donations in the form of a check or money order may be placed in your church’s offering plate or sent to First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich, 1 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich CT 06830, or All Souls Parish, Attn. Ken Nilsen, 55 Parkway Drive, Port Chester NY 10573. Checks may be made out to CWS/CROP.

 

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