NICHOLS, N.Y. - The Community Care Network of Nichols held its 4th annual Hiking for Helping Hands on June 2, 2012.

"It's the largest fundraiser to keep the doors open," CCNN Executive Director Dot Richter said. The event also marked the official opening of the Village of Nichols Walking Trails, a one and a two mile course laid out on the sidewalks of the village for people to keep track of how long their walks are.

Footprints were painted on the sidewalks by Nichols Boy Scout Troop 36 with sponges cut into the shape of footprints and glued to a piece of wood. Yellow footprints mark the one mile trail, while blue footprints mark the two mile trail through the village. The trails will be used on Walking Wednesdays, an imitative to encourage residents to get out and walk to lose weight and promote a healthy lifestyle, according to Richter. The trails are part of a grant-funded project sponsored by the Tioga County Healthy Communities Partnership, and were completed with the help of the Tioga County Department of Economic Development and Planning, the Town of Nichols, and Tioga/Nichols Girl Scouts.

This year's Hiking for Helping Hands walk through the village used parts of the two walking trails in Nichols. Businesses along the way were included in the hike this year, by way of a scavenger hunt which had walkers stopping in at 17 Nichols businesses and organizations for clues. The businesses were marked by stars, and their clues had something to do with the products or services offered by the business.

Walkers were sponsored on their walks, and CCNN Treasurer Kem Hart-Baker said the organization had reached their fundraising goal early and surpassed it, with more than $6,400 raised for the Community Care Network of Nichols. Chair of the CCNN Board Barb Crannell said the event was a big success, and well attended. Participation doubled from last year, with over 100 walkers signing up to take part in this year's hike. "It's good to see the community come together after the flood and do something fun," Crannell said.

Tioga County Neighbors Helping Neighbors Coordinator Heather Kirkland participated in the event, and said the event was a great opportunity for people to hear about the CCNN, and other community organizations in the county could potentially learn something from the successful Hiking for Helping Hands event. Services provided by CCNN include phone calls and visits to seniors, and help with transportation to grocery stores, doctor appointments, and drug stores for prescription pick-up. There are over 79 volunteers for CCNN helping 76 clients, according to Richter.

The Community Care Network of Nichols is located at 139 RoKi Blvd. in Nichols. To learn more, visit them online at, or by phone at (607) 414-1018.