Fair Haven CROP Walk this weekend

Lace up those walking shoes, the Fair Haven area CROP Walk is this weekend.

The 12th annual event, which raises money to combat hunger in the Lakes Region and beyond, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 30. Around 200 people are expected to participate.

“The CROP Walk benefits local food shelves in Fair Haven, Castleton and Poultney,” said Tamra Staudter, chair of the event. “The theme of this years event is ‘Together we can do great things’.”

And over the last dozen years, the event has done just that.

Since its inception in 2001, the walk has raised approximately $129,000 with $32,000 helping feed people in the in the communities of Fair Haven, Castleton, Poultney, Benson and Hubbardton.

Last year’s event attracted 194 people representing 25 different groups or organizations and raised $10,222, of which 25 percent benefited communities in the Lakes Region.

Organizers have set a target of $12,000 this year and with 250 registration forms handed out already, they are hopeful they will be able to reach that goal.

“If they all come we should do well,” Staudter.

Participants will be able to choose from one of two routes: A shorter, two-mile route through town that will take walkers down Washington Street, and across Fourth Street before ending at the Town Green, and a five-mile route that goes out to the airport and back.

Staudter said people can participate as individuals or groups, and several local businesses and schools plan to have teams of walkers.

“We also encourage walkers to bring their kids,” she said.

Anyone who would like to participate in this year’s event can call Staudter at 468-5453 for an informational packet.

“There is no minimum. People can collect whatever they can from family and friends,” said Stuadter.

Anyone who collects at least $50 will receive a free T-shirt, which was made by possible by donations from local businesses.

Participants can also register in person on the day of the event beginning at 1:30 p.m. The walk will begin at 2 p.m. and typically takes between one and two hours depending on the route selected.

Following the walk, participants will gather at the Fair Haven town green for refreshments, music by DJ John Saltis, and balloons for children.

The CROP Walk is sponsored by Church World Services, a faith-based organization that responds to natural disasters, combats world hunger and offers humanitarian aid to improvised peoples around the world.

CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.

The first CROP Walk was held in Bismarck, N.D., in 1969 and the event is now held in more than 2,000 communities across the world.

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