NORMAN — The annual Cleveland County CROP Walk to Stop Hunger is set for Sunday, with registration at 1:30 p.m. at Food and Shelter Inc., 104 W Comanche St. The walk begins at 2 p.m.
The three-mile walk will include teams from faith groups, businesses and organizations, as well as families and individuals. While there is no registration fee, participants are encouraged to make a donation.
This year's walk is dedicated to the memory of Michael McNeill, a client of Food and Shelter, said spokeswoman Brenda Wheelock.
McNeill, 38, died Sept. 1 when he was struck by a train at the Boyd Street crossing. Individuals are encouraged to make donations in honor of McNeill.
To raise awareness of the upcoming walk, a children's chalk art contest was held Saturday at the Santa Fe Depot.
The art contest generates interest and builds enthusiasm for the walk, Wheelock said.
CROP, which stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is a nationwide, ecumenical effort to raise awareness about the impact of hunger and poverty. More than 2,000 such events take place across the country each year.
Before this year's walk, Wheelock said, children can have their faces painted, and music will be provided by the Norman Public School's Manyawi World Music Ensemble and a contingent of the Pride of Oklahoma, OU's marching band.
Members of local school and church choirs will lead the walk by singing the African marching song “Siyahamba.”
An after-walk celebration will include a hot dog cookout provided by First American Bank and dance music by disc jockey Adrian Buendia and Nexus Productions of Norman.
Twenty-five percent of CROP Walk proceeds will be donated to Food and Shelter Inc., which provides emergency housing for homeless families and meals to the hungry. The remaining proceeds will support hunger relief efforts of the Church World Service across the United States and more than 80 countries.
CROP Walk Chairwoman Jane Pennington said local CROP walks have raised more than $145,000 over the past 10 years.