October 31, 2014
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Parishioners take on walk/run challenge for Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul from St. Peter and St. Kevin Churches are challenging other Warwick residents to step forward and help people in need by participating in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Friends of the Poor© Walk/Run at 10 a.m. on Sept. 28 at Colt State Park.

The event, in its sixth year, is the only statewide fundraiser for the non-profit Society of St. Vincent de Paul that assists people of all religious beliefs by providing emergency utility payments, food, clothing and shelter, along with one-on-one assistance to people in crisis so that they may create their own pathways to independence and success. In 2012, St. Peter and St. Kevin’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul members, along with people from 33 other conferences around the state, served more than 80,000 Rhode Islanders in need by providing 75,583 volunteer hours and $800,000 in direct aid.

“The Society of St. Vincent de Paul members are here to help people when emergencies arise, such as a death, extended unemployment or a fire in their home,” said Honorary Event Chair and NBC10 Chief Meteorologist Mark Searles in a statement. “They’re an organization helping so many – confidentially – during these trying economic times. The volunteers don’t ask for recognition for their efforts but they do need funds to help their mission succeed,” he added.

People can support the Society of St. Vincent de Paul by walking, running, or making a donation.

The three-mile walk offers scenic, shoreline views for all participants. Walkers can go to svdpri.org to download a walker registration and pledge form or call the Society of St. Vincent de Paul office at 305-3880 for an application to be sent. The event is wheelchair accessible and four-legged friends (on leashes) are welcome.

Runners will face a five-mile, USATF-certified run. The course is fast and fairly flat. In 2012, overall winners in the five-mile road race were Shawn Horgan of Bristol and Kelsey Seddon of Westerly with finish times of 28:18 and 34:31, respectively.  Merchandise prizes and trophies will be awarded for winners in each age category. Online registration for the 5-mile race is available at lightboxreg.com; alternatively, registration forms can be found at svdpri.org and mailed with a check. Race registration is $20 through Sept. 24, and $25 from Sept. 25 through race day. A course map can be viewed at: www.svdpri.org/2013_run__walk_course_map.htm.

Those who are unable or unavailable to participate in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Friends of the Poor© Walk/Run can still support the cause by sending a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, P.O. Box 40605, Providence, RI 02940. (Write “Friends of the Poor” in the memo line.) All contributions are tax-deductible.

Check-in and last minute registration for the event will be at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28. The race will kick off at 10 and the start of the walk will immediately follow. At 11, a family fun festival with a rock climbing wall, face painting, pumpkin painting, chowder, hot dogs and baked goods will provide a warm welcome for participants retuning from the walk and run, supporters of the event and their families.


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