Walks Help Those in Need 5

Homeless pets and hungry people benefit when you hoof it at two fundraisers

If you like to walk and are looking for an excuse to enjoy September´s beautiful weather, you can choose between two great fundraising efforts on Sept. 19 that will get you outdoors and doing good for others.

CROP Hunger Walk benefits Parker Task Force and world causes

Parker´s 2015 CROP Hunger Walk puts a fun and educational twist on raising money to help the needy across the world and in Parker.

“Each year’s walk has a different theme to make it more interesting,” says John Kelty, who is from Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church and has been coordinating the event since 2012. “This year’s activities will be centered around ‘life in a refugee camp,’ so walkers will be asked to do activities related to that type of life.”

The theme is a continuation of last year’s walk, which focused on ‘a refugee’s journey’ and required participants to carry an ID card and pass through several border stations.

Sponsored by Church World Service and organized by religious groups and other organizations, CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events designed to raise funds to end hunger in the U.S. and around the world.

About a half dozen churches are involved in the Parker walk, including Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church, Parker United Methodist Church, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Ave Marie Catholic Church, United Church of Christ-Parker Hilltop, Crossroads Community Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Kelty says he is hoping about 150 people will participate this year – up from the 80 or so people last year who raised more than $6,000. Money is raised through sponsorships or pledges that walkers contribute themselves or receive from friends and family.

An anonymous donor is providing added incentive this year. Anyone who brings in at least $100 will have their funds matched.

Of the money raised, 75 percent supports the Church World Service mission of promoting peace and justice and eradicating hunger and poverty. According to Kelty, the money is often used for infrastructure improvements, such as building fresh water wells, in the world’s neediest areas, as well as establishing organic gardens for refugees or in locations where there have been disasters.

The remaining 25 percent of the money raised stays in Parker to support the Parker Task Force Food Bank, which also will be sending its volunteers to help with the event.

The 3.3 mile walk begins at McCabe Meadows Trailhead, located at Parker Road and Indianpipe Lane. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the walk starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. Pre-walk activities include a silent auction.

For more information, visit CropWalkOnline.org/ParkerCO or email parkercropwalk@gmail.com.

Wag in Trail benefits homeless pets at the Buddy Center

The Denver Dumb Friends League is combining two favorites – dogs and hiking – into one quintessentially fundraiser to help homeless pets in Douglas County.

Wag ‘n Trail will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Glendale Farm Open Space, located near I-25 and Surrey Ridge, to benefit homeless pets at the Buddy Center, the League’s south location in Castle Rock.

Wag ‘n Trail includes a 1.6-mile hike at your own pace through scenic rolling hills and features dozens of vendors, demonstrations, local food trucks, music, adoptable dogs and fun for both two- and four-legged participants.

“This is one of our favorite events of the year,” says Matt Levien, Buddy Center director. “It not only helps support the Buddy Center and the services we provide to the pets and people of Douglas County, but it’s also a fun opportunity to get outdoors, bring Coloradans and their dogs together and contribute to a wonderful cause.”

Registration is free, but attendees are encouraged to fundraise to receive additional perks. Participants who raise at least $75 will get an official Wag ‘n Trail event T-shirt, GoodTimes ice cream for them and their dogs, and a commemorative family photo.

All the money raised will be used to provide shelter, medical care, behavior training, foster care and other services to homeless pets at the Buddy Center.

As the only animal shelter serving Douglas County, the Buddy Center plays a vital role in reuniting owners with lost pets and finding loving homes for thousands of cats, dogs and small pets each year.

For more information, visit DDFL.org/WNT or call 303.751.5722, Ext. 1378.