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Walk raises money to fight hunger

Posted: September 7, 2009 9:45 p.m.
Updated: September 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita residents head back from St. Stephen's Episcopal Church after walking 4.5 miles for the 13th annual SCV Community Walk for the Hungry on Monday morning. The walk was organized by Church World Service.

On a sleepy Labor Day morning, a crowd of local residents took steps to do some good in the world.

About 100 people turned out to the 13th annual CROP Walk, sponsored by the Santa Clarita Valley Interfaith Council.

Starting and ending at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, walkers completed a roughly 4 1/2-mile loop through the Old Orchard housing tract and Newhall.

While the final numbers were pending Monday afternoon, treasurer Robert Lee said he expected the donations and sponsorships to top out at around $5,500.

Donations ranged from a bag full of quarters, to a check for $350.

The Communities Reaching Out to People walk was organized by Church World Service, which receives 75 percent of the money raised. The remaining 25 percent will help the Santa Clarita Valley Emergency Winter Shelter, the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry and the food pantry at the Church of Hope, said Pastor George McLeary of Church of Hope.

"It's important to think beyond ourselves," he said.

The walk is a unifying event, said Rev. Lynn Jay of St. Stephen's.

"It's good for us to remember that we're part of a community," she said.

Jay said she has participated in all but two of the annual walks, and was pleased with Monday's turnout.

"I think we had an enthusiastic bunch of walkers," she said.

Monday's was the first CROP walk for Jennifer and Larry Mazzeo, who strode in with "Cheeseburger in Paradise" blasting through his headphones.

"It's going to a good cause," Larry said. "And I exercise every day, so why not do it here?"

Church World Service networks with partner agencies in more than 80 countries to help the hungry throughout the world, according to an Interfaith Council news release.

More than $120,000 has been raised by the project locally since 1997.


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