With the aim of raising awareness and showing solidarity with Price County residents who are battling economic hardship, the third annual Friends of the Poor walk will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. The walk is sponsored by the St. Vincent de Paul Society-St. Therese Conference, which runs an outreach program which serves the county's residents who struggle with unforeseen financial need and food shortage.
Event coordinators highlighted that poverty comes in many varieties and can impact anyone. By spotlighting the issue in the county, the Society hopes to bridge the taboo that surrounds poverty and spark discussion of how to tackle this problem.
The walk will take participants on a three-mile loop through the city of Phillips, starting at the Phillips Food Pantry/Heritage Credit Union parking lot at 134 Avon Avenue, and will follow the same route as the Spirit of America race.
Anyone and everyone is invited to participate in the walk, and dogs and strollers are welcome. The walk is very informal and is not timed.
Registration packets and pledge sheets can be picked up at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, food pantry, or from the gathering area at St. Therese Catholic Church. There is no registration fee, but freewill donations will be accepted. T-shirts will be free with $25 in pledges, otherwise $5. People can either pre-register or register on the day of the walk.
Last year, close to $3,000 was raised for the St. Vincent de Paul outreach program. This year’s goal is $4,000.
The outreach program is used to assist people with electricity, rent, utility bills, medical bills, and other needs.
According to the society, the walk is especially timely as Wisconsin is heading into fall and winter when heating costs go up, putting pressure on people who may be already struggling.
For more information, contact local walk coordinators Marge Handschke at 715-339-2911 or Marijane Koupy at 715-339-3326.