MASSENA — Runners and walkers will be doing their part on Sunday to help out the local food pantries in Massena.
The annual SOS (Stamp Out Starvation) Walk/Run, which is sponsored by the Greater Massena Ministerial Association, begins at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 189 Main St. Registration begins at 1 p.m.
One hundred percent of the money raised during the event is distributed to agencies in Massena that provide meals to those in need. They include St. Vincent de Paul, Massena Neighborhood Center, The Salvation Army and Massena Meals on Wheels. Funding also helps continue free community meals that are held Thursdays at First United Methodist Church.
Various service organizations and churches in Massena have been recruiting individuals to walk or run the course. They can walk or run one of two courses — a 5k course that will be marked out, as well as a shorter route that is approximately 1.5 miles. Water stops will be provided along the route.
Each participant is asked to solicit contributions from sponsors or make a donation in lieu of a registration fee. Anyone who doesn’t want to run or walk the course can still make a donation on Sunday. Individuals can make their check out to their local church for tax deduction purposes. The churches will transfer funds to the Greater Massena Ministerial Association. Please put SOS Walk at bottom left of the checks.
Once the walk is over, a Harvest Festival will be held at the church, and children are encouraged to wear Halloween outfits and enjoy the fun.
The SOS Walk is an offshoot of the Crop Walk, which is a national event held in the fall. But, unlike the Crop Walk in which funds are distributed internationally, nationally and locally, Massena’s SOS Walk has kept all funds local since it began in 1992 when local clergy decided that, rather than send money to an international charity, they could hold a local fundraiser for the benefit of Massena food pantries.