Heifer Hike raises money for organization
About 30 people embarked on a six-mile walk around the Valley Sunday in support of Heifer International, an organization that provides animals to people to help them out of poverty.
The group left Sunday from the Waverly Presbyterian Church and followed Pennsylvania Avenue toward Sayre, stopping halfway for a rest at the Sayre Presbyterian Church on South Elmer Avenue before trekking another three miles to the Athens Presbyterian Church on South Main Street. The walk was expected to take about two hours, said organizer John Simonds.
This is the third time the hike has been held, said Nelson Kopatz, pastor of the Athens church. Organizers canceled a hike scheduled for last year because of the flood, he said.
Two years ago, the time the walk was last held, the group raised about $2,000 for Heifer International, Simonds said. The donation helped to purchase two cows and other livestock, including pigs, sheep and chickens, for a community in need.
The organization, which dates back to World War II, originally provided animals to third-world communities for them to raise for food, milk or other ventures in lieu of a cash donation, Simonds said. The organization continues to serve countries overseas, but has started to do work in the United States as well in recent years, he said.
Organizers did not charge a fee to walk at Sunday's event. However, participants were encouraged to donate, and many obtained sponsors for the event. Simonds expected around 50 people to participate in the walk Sunday.
Organizers hoped to raise enough Sunday to purchase several animals again this year, and Simonds said the churches plan to support the organization for years to come.
"I hope that we'll continue to have this every year," he said.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.