Friends of the Poor Walk gears up Saturday

SEQUIM — Some of the more vulnerable members of the community are once again getting a helping hand thanks to some active legs.

The annual St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor Walk, now in its seventh year, is set from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Carrie Blake Community Park, 202 N. Blake Ave., Sequim.

Registration opens at 12:30 p.m. Two routes are offered — 1 mile or 5 miles — and participants can run or walk.

No fee is charged, but donations are requested, said Mike McAleer, event coordinator, who said sponsors also have been requested.

“This is the first time we’ve asked people to sponsor our run,” he said, adding that through sponsorships, the group already has raised $13,000 of a $20,000 goal.

Participants will be given T-shirts with the names of the sponsors on the back for as long as shirts are available, McAleer said.

Funds will go to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Sequim and will be used to help those in need who are in the Sequim School District.

“With the funds raised from the walk, we are able to help prevent homelessness,” McAleer said.

“With the rental housing shortage, rents are rising and making it more difficult for people to stay in their homes. We are also responding to more than the usual number of requests for assistance with [public utility district] bills after the unusually cold winter, and our funds have been depleted as a result,” he said.

This year, the walk begins at the park’s picnic shelter and proceeds east along the Olympic Discovery Trail. Participants have the option of walking as far as Whitefeather Way or in a short loop around Carrie Blake Park.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an all-volunteer organization. More than 95 percent of the funds raised go to direct support of those in need. Help is given to anyone, regardless of ethnicity, gender or religion.

For more information or to register before the day of the walk, call 360-477-0837.

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