NORMAN — The Cleveland County CROP Walk to Stop Hunger will bring together people from faith groups, businesses and organizations Sunday, to fight hunger and poverty locally and around the world.
Registration is set for 1:30 p.m. at Food & Shelter Inc., 104 W Comanche. The three-mile walk-a-thon will start at 2 p.m. and wind through tree-lined streets and the University of Oklahoma campus. Walk teams include churches, businesses, civic and professional organizations, families, friends and dog walkers.
Individuals also are welcome to join and register on the day of the walk. While there is not a registration fee, individuals and teams are encouraged to make donations.
This year's walk is dedicated to the memory of Michael McNeill, a client and member of the Food & Shelter family, who died Sept. 1 in Norman. People are invited to make memorial contributions to the walk in McNeill's honor.
CROP, which stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is a nationwide, ecumenical effort to raise awareness about the impact of hunger and poverty. The walk is one of more than 2,000 such events taking place across the country this year and has been a part of the Norman community for more than 30 years. The walk is organized by volunteers from a variety of local faith communities.
More than a walk
Before the walk, participants can enjoy face painting for kids, musical entertainment by Norman Public School's Manyawi World Music Ensemble and a contingent of the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band. Members of local school and church choirs will start the walk, singing African marching song “Siyahamba.”
The after-walk celebration will include a hot dog cookout provided by First American Bank and dance music by DJ Adrian Buendia and Nexus Productions of Norman. Rest stations along the route, staffed by local Girl Scouts, will offer water and restrooms, along with water and dog treats for furry walkers.
Other ways to help
Those who are unable to physically join in the walk but want to contribute and participate are invited to join the festivities.
Twenty-five percent of CROP Walk proceeds will be donated to Norman's Food & Shelter Inc., which provides emergency housing for homeless families and meals to the hungry. The remaining CROP Walk proceeds go to support hunger relief and development projects of the Church World Service across the United States and more than 80 countries.
In conjunction with the walk, participants are encouraged to bring peanut butter and/or tuna for a drive to benefit local food pantries across Cleveland County. Free T-shirts will be provided to walkers who raise or donate $100 or more. 2012 CROP Walk shirts will be for sale for $10 each.
To learn more
For more information, call recruitment chairman Karen Buntin at 793-1457 or go to www.clevelandcountycropwalk.org.