A splendid day for the CROP Walk

The 10 active Island clergy who helped organize and lead the Annual Crop Walk on October16 included, left to right: the Rev. Vincent Gerald Seadale "Chip" (St. Andrews, Edgartown); the Rev. Father Michael Nagle (Good Shepherd Parish); the Rev. Alden Besse, co-chairman of Crop Walk; the Rev. Phil Dietterich, co-chairman of Crop Walk; the Rev. Robert Hensley (Grace Church V.H.); the Rev. Dr. Gerald Fritz (Federated Church Edgartown); the Rev. Gloria Wong (Grace Church V.H.). In the front row, the Rev. Jill Cowie (Unitarian Universalist Society); Rabbi Caryn Broitman (M.V. Hebrew Center); the Rev. Armen Hanjian, Coordinator of Island Food Pantry.

On a beautiful but blustery afternoon, Sunday, October 16, 91 Vineyarders set out on the 21st annual CROP walk from Good Shepherd’s St. Augustine’s Church hall for Trinity United Methodist Church Parish House on the Oak Bluffs Campground. There they were greeted by the Rev. Richard Rego and church ladies and delicious refreshments and comforting facilities. Many accepted rides back to St Augustine’s and more refreshments.

The Rev. Cathlin Baker from the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury made it to Oak Bluffs with her two children under five. A resident from Windemere also did the walk. The ages of the walkers ranged up to the late eighties.

This 21st annual walk was sponsored by the Island Clergy Association, the Island Food Pantry, and the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. The Island Food Pantry will receive 25 percent of the money raised.

CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty. It was established by churches to help them and others of faith and good will respond to the great needs of the poor. There are approximately 2,000 of these annual walks nationwide. In the last 20 years, the walk has raised $316,107 on the Vineyard.

Money from the hundreds of people who sponsored the walkers is due in to St. Augustine’s Church, by Sunday October 30, from 2 pm to 3 pm.

One ambitious walker attracted sponsorships totaling $3,000, and several generous sponsors have promised to add 20 cents for every dollar raised. In cash and pledges, $13,150 had been raised by October 16.