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Wanted: Walkers to raise funds for a great local cause

Habitat for Humanity hosts 17th annual Walk-a-Thon

Sue and John Scudder, former board members and volunteer coordinators for Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity, stepped lively along the route of last year's Walk-a-Thon. This year's event will once again be held on May 2 beginning at the First United Methodist Church in Gilford. Courtesy. (click for larger version)
March 04, 2009
With the return of nice weather to N.H., Habitat for Humanity is looking for people who would like to spend a few hours walking and having fun while raising money to help families in the Lakes Region.

A Walk-a-Thon, held in memory of Clem Cummings, is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, beginning at the First United Methodist Church on Route 11A in Gilford. The five-mile route will take participants up over Gunstock Hill Road, along Morrill Street, Stone Road and back out to Gilford Avenue and Route 11A once again.

Amy Norton of Moultonboro is helping organize the event and looks forward to seeing a lot of people walking for such a good cause.

"I got a Habitat House for my family in January," Norton said. "They have been so great to me that I would do anything to help them."

Habitat for Humanity is a nationwide program that helps families achieve the dream of home ownership they might not otherwise be able to afford. Volunteers assist in the construction and the applicant and their family also pitch in "sweat equity" hours toward the completion of their new home.

"Everyone is just awesome," Norton said of the program and their volunteers. "People just come and help. It's a great, great program."

Norton now is the proud owner of a home for herself and her five children. Other families in the area are slated to get a home as well, but first money is needed to help with building supplies and land purchases.

"Habitat is looking for lots to build the houses on," she said. "It's the biggest expense in the program and they are having a tough time finding affordable land right now."

Habitat for Humanity began in 1977 and received national recognition when former president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalind became volunteers for the program. The Lakes Region branch was started in 1982 and in the past 25 years has provided "decent, affordable housing" for 29 local families. Donations of building supplies and man hours have made it possible to construct or renovate homes suitable to a family's size and needs. Many civic groups, businesses and churches have pitched in to assist in these projects, keeping costs to a minimum for the new owners.

The struggling economy makes this year's walk-a-thon and fundraising all the more important. In it's 17th year, the event is hoping that a large number of people will walk with them, gathering as many pledges as possible. People may donate an amount per mile walked or pledge a flat fee for the event. Those who raise $100 or more will receive Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity tee shirts for their contributions. There will be great prizes given out to the Top 3 pledge amounts raised, with first prize being a one night stay at Church Landing or any one of the Mill Falls hotels.

Participants don't have to walk the entire route if they feel it is too much. Habitat for Humanity will arrange for transportation to pick them up if needed. Those who are unable to walk at all may also contribute by sending a check to the organization at 66 Rte. 25 #3, Meredith, NH 03253. More information on the event can be found at www.lrhabitat.org where a registration form can also be downloaded. People may register that day prior to the walk if they have not done so earlier.

The 17th Annual Habitat for Humanity Walk-a-thon will begin at 8 a.m. and finish at 12 noon. The First United Methodist Church members will provide refreshments, signs along the route and crossing guards for the day.

"It will be held rain or shine," Norton added. "Hopefully it will be a beautiful day and we can raise a lot of money for a really good local cause."

Anyone with questions on how they can help Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity with time, money, volunteers for their board or land for sale is asked to call 279-4820 or email info@lrhabitat.org.

Tilton School
Martin Lord Osman
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