Stamping out hunger one step at a time

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By Jennifer Garcia

Every year, approximately 2,000 communities around the country take part in the Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty Hunger Walk, in an effort to take a stand against hunger and help those in need. Los Alamos is no exception.
This year, the CROP Hunger Walk/Turkey Trot will be at 2 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Los Alamos Middle School and will feature a 2.57-mile family fun walk/run. Those participating in the walk get sponsors who donate money for their efforts. 25 percent of donations go to local food pantry LA Cares, while 75 percent of the donations go toward global hunger relief efforts.
Aaron Goldman started the Los Alamos CROP Walk in 1997. In 2001, the Turkey Trot, coordinated by Ted Williams, combined with the CROP Walk, to form a family event. According to the Atomic City Roadrunners Web site, “Goldman and Williams knew each other through running events and originally met through the Atomic City Roadrunners and pace races and other running activities.”
These days, the CROP Walk/Turkey Trot is coordinated by Laura McClellan who is on the LA Cares board; Jeanne Butler, also on the LA Cares board; and Lynn Wysocki-Smith. Wysocki-Smith got involved with the event because her mother was involved in the Madison, Wis. CROP Walk for 15 years. Marcelle Wysocki died in 2007, but Wysocki-Smith said her involvement in the Los Alamos event is a good way to remember her mother. During Wysocki’s involvement in the Madison walk, she raised $72,000 for Luther Memorial Church.
Wysocki-Smith said that continuing work with the CROP Walk/Turkey Trot is also a way to honor Goldman.
“Even though Aaron’s no longer here, he’s still helping out. We still feel his presence. He had such an impact on everything,” Wysocki-Smith said.
McClellan said she’s involved in the event because her concern is for “people who aren’t as fortunate as myself.”
“We’re trying to raise awareness for Los Alamos citizens. There’s a need here and around the world,” Wysocki-Smith said.
The walking that’s done during the event is symbolic, Wysocki-Smith said.
“Hungry people in developing countries typically walk as much as six miles a day to get food, water and fuel to take their goods to market. CROP Hunger Walk participants walk to be in solidarity with their struggle for existence,” according to a press release.
Butler said she got involved in the event because of her daughter.
“There was a contest when she was in 7th grade and parents worked at the food bank in our hometown … someone was needed from my church, so I volunteered,” she said.
McClellan said that event is a “good family activity” and that some adults choose to bring children in strollers and leashed dogs to the walk.
Wysocki-Smith said there will be random drawings for turkeys or pumpkin pies and there’s no cost, but donations of canned food or money are welcome. Food will also be provided to the participants after the walk.
For more information call 661-9619 or visit www.cropwalk.org.