The Norman Transcript

September 24, 2012

CROP Walk to be dedicated in memory of Mike McNeill

Transcript Staff
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Event raises funds to help feed the hungry

The Cleveland County CROP Walk to Stop Hunger will bring together hundreds of people from faith groups, businesses and organizations on Oct. 7 to fight hunger and poverty locally and around the world.

Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at Food and Shelter, 104 W. Comanche St. The three-mile, 30-45 minute walk-a-thon will start at 2 p.m. and will wind through tree-lined streets and the University of Oklahoma campus.

Walk teams include churches, businesses, civic and professional organizations, families, friends and dog walkers. Individuals also are welcome to join and register on the day of the walk. While there is not a registration fee, individuals and teams are encouraged to make donations.

This year’s walk will be dedicated to the memory of Michael McNeill, a client and member of the Food and Shelter family who died Sept. 1 in Norman. Individuals are invited to make memorial contributions to the walk in McNeill’s honor.

CROP, or Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is a nationwide, ecumenical effort to raise awareness about the impact of hunger and poverty.

The walk is one of more than 2,000 such events taking place across the country this year and has been a part of the community for more than 30 years. The walk is organized by volunteers from a variety of local faith communities.

CROP Walk is a family orientated event. Before the walk, participants can enjoy face painting for kids and musical entertainment by Norman Public School’s Manyawi World Music Ensemble and a contingent of the Pride of Oklahoma.

Members of local school and church choirs will lead the walk by singing the African marching song “Siyahamba.”

The after-walk celebration will include a hot dog cookout provided by First American Bank and music by DJ Adrian Buendia and Nexus Productions of Norman. Rest stations along the route, staffed by local Girl Scouts, will offer water and restrooms, along with water and dog treats for furry walkers. Those who are unable to physically join in the walk but want to contribute and participate are invited to join in for the festivities.

Twenty-five percent of CROP Walk proceeds will be donated to Norman’s Food and Shelter, which provides emergency housing for homeless families and meals to the hungry. The remaining CROP Walk proceeds will support hunger relief and development projects of the Church World Service across the United States and more than 80 countries.

Church World Service programs in the developing world focus on building economic and environmental sustainability, strengthening local communities and encouraging self-reliance. The nonprofit agency’s efforts are supported by a coalition of more than 35 denominations and faiths worldwide.

“The Norman community is incredibly generous,” said local CROP Walk Chair Jane Pennington, noting that local CROP Walk organizers hope to raise more than $20,000 this year. “In the past 10 years, our community’s CROP Walk has raised more than $145,000 to benefit people in need, both here and around the globe.”

In conjunction with the walk, participants are encouraged to bring peanut butter and/or tuna for a drive to benefit local food pantries across Cleveland County. Free T-shirts will be provided to walkers who raise or donate $100 or more. The 2012 CROP Walks shirts also will be for sale for $10 each.

This year’s walk is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with more than 30 walk teams participating and more than 50 local sponsors, Pennington said.

“When you participate in CROP Walk, you are taking steps to alleviate hunger and poverty in the world’s neediest communities and right here in our own backyard.”

To learn more about CROP Walk, call recruitment chair Karen Buntin at 793-1457 or visit


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