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Organizers hope tenth Harvest Walk/Run is the biggest ever

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The 10th annual Harvest Walk/Run in Ogdensburg, scheduled for Sunday, is fast approaching and organizers are hoping for a bigger turnout than ever.

“The Harvest Walk/Run is used to support 11 organizations for their food panties and outreach efforts and in this economic time, when government is pulling back, we have to go to private funders and donors to be able to talk care of individuals and families that are in need,” said Sr. Donna M. Franklin, director of Catholic Charities.

“It’s a neighbor helping neighbor approach,” Sr. Franklin said.

The 4.5 mile walk/run begins at the Dobisky Center in the Greenbelt at 1 p.m. after a 12 p.m. registration. A shorter, Golden Mile, will also be an option for people who are uniquely abled, elderly, or walking with their baby or young children.

There will be free coffee and a bake sale during the event.

Last year’s event raised $22,000 and saw roughly 400 runners and walkers participate, Sr. Franklin said, and this year organizers hope to see an even larger crowd.

“It’s a very popular, important community event,” Sr. Franklin said.

This year’s walk/run will benefit the St. John’s Episcopal Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Ogdensburg outreach programs, Renewal House, Seaway House, the St. Vincent de Paul societies of St. Mary’s Cathedral and Notre Dame Church, Outreach programs at Sts. Philip and James Parish in Lisbon, Outreach programs at St. Raphael’s parish, Heuvelton, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities’ Bridging the Gap Program and the Ogdensburg Neighborhood Center.

While the run/walk is free to enter participants are encouraged to bring either monetary donations or empty cans and bottles. Perry’s Place Bottle Redemption will be on hand at the event to take the empties.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three teams bringing in the most donations and the top five individuals raising the most money will get a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

A 50/50 raffle is also available and the payout is already topping $600, Sr. Franklin said.

“I really believe this: it really measures the quality of a community that can turn out and help neighbors in need,” Sr. Franklin said.

Sponsor sheets can be picked up at the Catholic Charities Regional office at 716 Caroline Street or the Ogdensburg Neighborhood Center in City Hall. For more information or to register your team call Catholic Charities at 393-2255.

This year people are encouraged to wear their yellow, “Save SLPC,” shirts in support of keeping inpatient services open at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center. T-shirts are available at the Ogdensburg City Hall for $10 and Sr. Franklin said photos of people with the shirts will be taken.

In the ten years of its existence the event has raised more than $110,000 for local charities and this year is another opportunity for community members to get active, get involved and make a difference.

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