Walkers walk so others can eat: CROP Hunger Walk
FALLS VILLAGE â€” An enthusiastic crowd of walkers took advantage of a balmy weekend and participated in the Northwest Connecticut CROP Hunger Walk at Housatonic Valley Regional High School Sunday, Sept. 26.
Prior to the start, the Rev. Carl Franson puzzled for a moment over problems with the public address system, while Teresa Stickle got the starting tape ready.
School buses let out contingents from area private schools â€” Hotchkiss, South Kent, and Indian Mountain among others.
Ed Reagan at the registration table said he didnâ€™t know how many people were signed up, but he expected it would be better than last year, when about 240 people turned out.
â€œAnd that was iffy weather,â€ he added.
The Salisbury Band Senior Quickstep Hotshots were gathered at the front of the high school building, playing tunes that appealed to walkers of differing levels of energy. â€œOn Wisconsin,â€ for example, is an up-tempo march that might inspire a pretty brisk pace, while the next selection, â€œLullaby of Broadway,â€ is a song more suited to strolling.
The walkers amused themselves in the 45 minutes leading up to the start. â€œOoh, sousaphoneâ€ said a burly, bearded walker to the small child strapped to his back.
And teenagers warmed up with Frisbees and Hula-Hoops on the lawn.
The event drew a cross section of Northwest Corner residents. A highly arbitrary listing: two former first selectmen of Sharon, Bob Moeller and Malcolm Brown (the latter was manning one of the water stations); Heidi Truax, pastor at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lime Rock; state Rep. Roberta Willis (D-64); and Stickle, who has been a volunteer at CROP events for at least 10 years.
Franson led the walkers in three cheers for the band, urged everyone to be careful â€” especially crossing Route 7 to Lime Rock Station Road â€” and reminded the walkers that the flood-stricken people of Pakistan, to be assisted by the funds raised by the walk, have to walk 5 or 10 miles to get drinkable water, food or any other basic commodity.
Then Stickle cut the tape, and the walkers were off, beginning with a trip around the lawn in front of the school.
The walkers went either a quarter mile, five miles or 10 miles (down Lime Rock Station Road and then River Road, almost all the way into West Cornwall).
The Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty (CROP) Hunger Walk is an annual event that raises awareness and funds for international and local hunger relief. One quarter of the funds raised go to the Nothwest Connecticut Food Bank.