CROP walk's origins date to post-World War II


September 18, 1997|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MANY PEOPLE know there's an annual fall community service event in Severna Park called the CROP walk, but they don't know much about its unusual history.

The Church Rural Overseas Project brings in money for worldwide assistance. Its origins go back 51 years.

At the end of World War II, Midwestern farmers figured their surplus crops could help war-torn European countries trying to rebuild. They organized through the Church World Service, and since 1946, some $879 million in food, medical supplies, tents, clothing, blankets, seeds, tools, and sewing and school supplies have been shipped.

With the war long over, the need is still great, and CROP walkers are signing up for the 17th Severna Park Walk from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 12.

The walkers, who earn money through sponsors, start and finish at the Community Center at Woods.

Registration begins before 12: 45 p.m. for the 6.2-mile walk along the B&A Trail Park. The Rev. Tom Gill, pastor of Our Lady of the Fields Roman Catholic Church, will offer a blessing at 1 p.m.

After the walk, participants can celebrate with refreshments donated by local businesses, as well as a swim in the Woods Community Center pool for $1 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Overflow parking is available in the Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church parking lot.

Today, CROP Walks provide programs of emergency response, long-term development and assistance to refugees in more than 70 countries and throughout the United States. They also allot 25 percent of their earnings to local charities, in this case the Severna Park Assistance Network.

SPAN, which began 7 1/2 years ago as a community mission project for several county churches, provides emergency food, financial assistance and clothing for the county's needy. SPAN has more than a dozen participating churches and is staffed by )) trained volunteers led by director Cindy Burkert and a volunteer board.

In the past six years, the Severna Park CROP Walk has raised $39,538, nearly $10,000 of which has gone to SPAN.

Information: 410-647-0889.

Recognition for students

Congratulations to three Archbishop Spalding High School seniors recognized by the state Higher Education Commission as part of the Maryland Distinguished Scholars program.

Artist Neil Adams Jr. of Severna Park, vocalist Christian Buzzerd of Mitchellville and vocalist Kristin Weisman of Millersville received honorable mention.

This year, 673 nominations were made in the talent competition.

Seventy-nine students were selected as finalists, 58 as semifinalists, and 460 given honorable mention.

Finalists are offered an annual scholarship of $3,000, renewable for up to $12,000, to attend a Maryland college or university.

Pub Date: 9/18/97

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