The Cleveland County CROP Walk will host its 38th annual charity walk to stop hunger with both in-person and virtual options to participate on Sunday, Oct. 17.
In-person walkers, who are asked to wear masks, will gather at Andrews Park, 201 W. Daws St., at 1:30 p.m. for check-in and the walk sendoff at 2 p.m.
Participants can also support the CROP Hunger Walk by walking on their own chosen path, such as their neighborhood, or they can simply raise funds online as “Spirit Walkers.” Participants are encouraged to register and donate online at clevelandcountycropwalk.org
CROP, which stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is a nationwide, ecumenical effort to raise awareness and raise funds to fight hunger and poverty. Norman’s 3-mile charity walk is one of more than 800 CROP Walks nationwide this year and is organized by volunteers from local faith groups and community organizations.
This year's CROP Walk has a fundraising goal of at least $22,000, benefiting Food and Shelter Inc. of Norman and the global humanitarian efforts of Church World Service.
This year’s CROP Walk at Andrews Park will offer a 3-mile route and 2-mile “shortcut” route. Participants are welcome to bring friendly, leashed pets. New this year, children and teens are invited to design their own signs to carry in the walk, with prizes of $50, $25 and $10 awarded to the top three designs.
At 2 p.m., members of Manyawi Global Music Ensemble, Norman Singers and other community choirs will launch the walk by singing the African marching song “Siyahamba.” Snacks sponsored by First United Bank will be provided at the walk sendoff. Water station stops along the route will feature local musicians Jared Deck, Andrew Cullen, Nicolette Nicar, Jay Skinner and Brad Fielder, who will be playing for Tips for CROP Walk.
Former Norman Mayor Lynn Miller is donating rocking chairs for “CROP Rock,” an opportunity for those who can’t physically participate in the 3-mile walk but want to contribute and join the festivities. CROP Walk T-shirts will be available for $15 each on walk day and will be awarded free to each walker who raises $100 or more in walk donations. The T-shirts feature this year’s CROP Walk theme: "The poor we shall always have with us, but why the hungry?" based on a quote by John van Hengel, father of the food bank movement.
In the past 37 years, the local CROP Walk has raised more than $404,000 to fight hunger and poverty. Last year, the local walk was recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 “Cream of the CROP” fundraising walks.
To learn more about the CROP Walk, call 405-620-1305 or visit the walk website at clevelandcountycropwalk.org.