WILSON, N.C. — A community’s passion to make a difference can be ignited by one person, and that’s exactly how plans began for the 2012 Wilson Area CROP Hunger Walk. Barton College senior Zeb M. Whitehurst V of Wilson and a dedicated team of Barton student volunteers he’s already enlisted are asking members of businesses, churches, and schools in Wilson and the surrounding communities to join them in raising awareness and funds for international relief and development through Church World Service’s annual CROP Hunger Walk to be held on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 23.

Leading the Crop Hunger Walk on the heels of his junior year internship experience with “Week of Compassion,” the relief, refugee and development ministry fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Whitehurst explains that funds raised from the Walk event will also support local relief efforts in our own community. “We are particularly excited about this Walk as it has been absent from the Wilson community for many years and, with its return, we will address a very specific need,” he shares. “Church World Service, the parent organization of these community walks throughout the country, raises awareness of the continuing effort to end hunger while raising monies to be distributed at a local, national, and international levels. A percentage of the funds raised will stay here in Wilson, being distributed to five area hunger agencies. These agencies include Hope Station, the Soup Kitchen of Wilson (hosted at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church), St. John’s Food Pantry, Flynn Christian Home, and CHEW (Child Hunger Elimination in Wilson), which oversees the backpack food program for the area schools.”

If you are interested in becoming a team captain or if you have already been selected by your organization to be a team captain, you are invited to attend an Information Session on Monday, August 13, at 7 p.m., in the multi-purpose room on the lower level of Hardy Alumni Hall, located on the Barton College campus. If team captains are unable to attend, please contact Zeb Whitehurst at zeb.m.whitehurst@gmail.com or the Reverend Hollie Woodruff, chaplain of Barton College, at hewoodruff@barton.edu to make arrangements for information to be given to a team representative.
There are several ways to be involved in the Wilson Area CROP Hunger Walk, ranging from financial donations and sponsorships to participating in the event. Walkers may choose either the one-mile or the three-mile route. Registration, which may be completed online prior to the event, is encouraged to help avoid delays on the day of the event. As an additional option, registration will be available on site.

To register online, visit Church World Service’s web site at www.cropwalkonline.org/wilsonnc. Those registering may join an existing team, create a new team, or plan to walk as an individual participant. Money raised by the walkers may be turned in at the Registration/Check-In Table on the day of the event. For those unable to participate in the Walk, donations may also be sent through the secure web site for Church World Service.

The Wilson Area CROP Hunger Walk’s schedule of activities will begin with Registration/Check-In at 2 p.m., followed by the Walk at 3 p.m. The event will be held at the Wilson Recreation Center, and participants will gather by the picnic tables located on Ripley Road.

Activities at the CROP Walk event will include free blood pressure screenings, face painting, music, a guest appearance by Bully (the mascot of Barton College), and multiple prize drawings. The first 250 walking participants to check in at the event will receive a free 2012 CROP Hunger Walk t-shirt.

During the event, water stations will be set up in multiple locations; however, participants are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles to ensure this is an environmentally friendly event.

For the latest updates, follow the Wilson CROP Walk on Twitter: @WilsonCROP2012 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/400789526635788/.

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Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.