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Beat the winter blahs by joining the 25th annual Good Friday Walk, April 10

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HARVARD — Ditch those boots, get out your walking shoes, and start practicing for the 25th annual Good Friday Walk.

This year’s walk is being held on April 10, in plenty of time for some nice spring weather, and we’d like you to join us in this special community walk to help those in need. It’s an event for everyone — totally non-denominational.

Walkers leave from the Congregational Church on the Harvard Common and make a scenic 5-mile loop. Register any time from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the April 10 and walk as far or as little as you would like, as long as you finish before 4 p.m. We ask everyone who walks to get sponsors (either by the mile or for the entire walk). The more money raised, the more you will be helping others.

Once again, two-thirds of the proceeds from the walk will benefit Loaves & Fishes, providing groceries and other aid to your neighbors in Ayer, Shirley, Littleton, Devens, Groton and Harvard. (The other one third goes to Sharing Inc., and helps impoverished families in the rural South.) Last year, 267 walkers and 60 workers raised $27,792.

You really can make a huge difference in people’s lives by participating in this walk. And it’s easy! Just pick up a sponsor sheet at your local church or library and collect as many donations as you can. (Checks should be made payable to the Good Friday Walk, and all donations are tax deductible.)

Ask your friends, your employer and fellow employees, your children and your neighbors to walk with you or to sponsor you — the more the merrier. On April 10, total your sponsor sheet and bring it with your donations to the registration desk at the Congregational Church to receive a walk paper and map.

Children under 18 need the signature of parent or guardian, and walkers under 12 must have adult supervision. For safety reasons, no bicycles, roller blades, scooters or skateboards are allowed. The route is hilly, so get your muscles ready with practice walks.

This walk is good for your mind and your spirit! If you can’t do the walk, you can contribute in many other ways. We need volunteers to prepare sandwiches in the church kitchen the day of the walk, to bring us baked goods, to work at the registration desk, to man the rest stop half-way through the route, and to drive the loop slowly in the “Toe Truck” (the car used to check on walker’s safety).

Let us know if you’re interested in helping — just contact one of our walk co-chairmen, Ruth Broughton at 978-486-8557 (e-mail rebroughton@verizon.net) or Laurie Heron at 978-621-6545.

Join our Good Friday Walk team, and make a real difference in your community.

The Good Friday Walk is the biggest one-day, ongoing fund-raising event for Loaves & Fishes. In our current economic climate, we need the funds more than ever to keep the pantry stocked with food. In 2008, we saw more than a 25 percent increase in the number of family visits. The nutritious groceries we provide often means the difference between eating or not eating for the families we serve.