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Storm Doesn't Stop CROP Walkers

Although the storm dampened some of the excitement of this year's Community Reaching Out to People Walk, about 200 people still met at the Carrboro Town Commons for the Inter-Faith Council-sponsored event.

After the IFC announced the walk was officially canceled, people found other ways to participate in the event. The event will not be rescheduled.

One group from the United Church of Chapel Hill decided to drive the 10-kilometer route, which stretched from the Carrboro Town Commons to Tenney Circle in Chapel Hill. "We're doing this for ourselves and our sponsors," said Elisa Enriquez, CROP Walk recruiter for the United Church of Chapel Hill.

The Raging Grannies, a group of eight women who sing for social causes, were also at the event and sang a few songs they wrote for the walk, such as "Song for Hunger," set to the tune of "On Top of Old Smoky."

After the rain subsided, some people decided to go ahead and do the walk. Dede Richardson, accompanied by her 3-year-old daughter Katie, said they wanted to walk at least part of it.

"It's a good cause," Richardson said. "Hopefully the funds will still be raised."

This is the first time the CROP Walk has been rained out in its 15-year history.

"This is a rain or shine event," IFC volunteer Leila Dillon said.

But this year, the rain was accompanied by lightning and severe thunderstorms. When IFC officials received word from the National Weather Forecast that severe weather was headed toward the area, Dillon said it was necessary to cancel the walk. "Having people walk down the street with umbrellas in lightning is not a good idea," she said.

Dillon said she is not sure how much money will be raised this year. About $60,000 was raised last year, she said.

"Hopefully, the people who pledged will follow through," Dillon said.

CROP Walks have been sponsored nationwide by the Church World Service since 1969. There are presently more than 2,000 communities across the United States who sponsor CROP Walks, according to the Church World Service Web site.

The Carrboro-Chapel Hill CROP Walk began in 1987 and has always been sponsored by the IFC.

IFC Director Chris Moran said 25 percent of the money raised will go to support IFC huger relief programs. The IFC received between $14,000 and $15,000 from last year's CROP Walk, Moran said.

The other 75 percent of the proceeds go to the Church World Service, for refugees, disaster relief and self-help projects in more than 80 countries, Moran said. "But the whole idea, more than money, is bringing people together."

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