Friends of the Poor Walk set for Sept. 29

The 11th annual “Friends of the Poor Walk” will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at College Park. The walk is sponsored by the Winchester conference of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, which is one of the oldest and most effective charitable organizations in the world, according to a press release.

There are more than 800,000 members of the Society in 44,600 conferences worldwide who provide “person-to-person” help to the poor and needy in 150 countries on five continents.

In the US, there are about 150,000 members spread over 4,441 conferences.

The Friends of the Poor Walk was started in 2008 in the US to support local projects run by each conference.

The Winchester conference at St. Joseph parish uses the funds raised to stock their food pantry which serves 60 to 90 families each month.

“In our first walk back in 2008, we raised about $4,000,” walk co-chairman Rich Gomez said.

Last year, with the efforts of more than 30 walkers, more $20,000 was raised.

Gomez said he hopes to meet or beat last year’s totals by getting the word out and contacting more than 180 corporate sponsors in the

Winchester area, making them aware of the mission.

The keynote speaker at this year’s walk will be Forrest Hahn, preaching minister of Christview Christian Church. He is also a 19-year member and current president of the Clark County Association of Churches (AOC), which is a faith-based community that works together to help those in need in Winchester.

AOC joint efforts have included partnerships with Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark counties and has participated in this year’s recent Apostle’s Build.

If it rains on the date of the walk, walkers can go to the College Park gym, where there is an indoor track.

People can show up at College Park to donate or register to participate in the walk, Gomez said.

Walkers will be given a free T-shirt and refreshments will be served.

“We will also be raffling off a free membership pass to Planet Fitness located here in Winchester on the Bypass,” he said.

For more information, call 771-0453, or go to the website https://www.fopwalk.org/event/2124.