The rain held off on a dreary day as 75 people Sunday made the trek and completed the mile-and-a-half walk at the eighth annual CROP Walk for Hunger, which started at St. Paul United Church of Christ.
The event, which had been held on Saturdays and used to begin at Miller’s Corral, was moved to Sundays a few years ago in an effort to attract more participants. Event volunteer Darrel Acker said the move has seemed to pay off. The event has always been held in the fall season.
The 75 walkers proved to be a significant increase from the year before. Also, 11 canines accompanied their owners on the walk.
“Last year we had 58 people participate,” Acker said. “So this was a significant improvement.”
Of the money raised, 25 percent stays locally and is split evenly between God’s Storehouse and Mercy Unlimited. The rest of the money goes to the Church World Service to help feed hungry people throughout the world.
“It isn’t as much as wee would like to do,” Acker said, “but yeah, every little bit helps.”
There are more than 1,600 CROP Hunger Walks held throughout the world. It was brought to Wapakoneta in 2005 when the late Rev. Tom Roberts, former pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, adopted the event into the community. Acker had served as chairman of the event through last year and served as volunteer for the 2012 event.
“It is backed by the Wapakoneta Area Ministerial Association and we get a pretty broad representation from the area churches,” Acker said.
Acker had a grandson get married over the weekend and as a result had relatives in town from New York, Florida and Minnesota. So there were plenty of relatives in town to help take part in the walk.
“This way we can say we had people from all over come to Wapakoneta to participate in the walk,” Acker said.
Five corporate sponsors, Bayliff & Eley Funeral Home, The Eagles Auxiliary, G. A. Wintzer & Son, Kantner & West Chiropractic, and Poppe Law Office had the walk off to a good start by donated a total of $950 to the event.
Acker said with the large amount of corporate sponsors, the event had a good chance of surpassing the $3,700 raised last year.
“Most of the money we raise comes front he church members,” Acker said. “I think we have a good chance to surpass what we raised last year.”
Nancy Newland, a resident of Wapakoneta, said she haas participated in the vent for three years. She is a church member at St. Paul’s.
“My daughter is involved with an organization that addresses world hunger,” Newland said. “So I try to do any little thing I can do to help. This is a great way to get church members from different churches involved. It is a cohesive event that gets people together to help fight hunger.”