This year’s event, which raises money for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, included 302 participants, who were all smiles as they made a round trip from Sacred Heart Catholic Church to T.W. Patterson Sports Park.
Event organizer Laura Román said she was amazed with this year’s participation after last year’s march drew about 250 people.
“I just couldn’t believe my eyes,” she said.
The event kicked off with a prayer by the Rev. Rex Hays, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Unlike last year’s event, which was hampered by rain, the skies were sunny on Saturday with windy conditions.
“We all had a wonderful time, and we knew the Holy Spirit was with us every moment,” Román wrote in an email about the event.
March participants received sponsorships, and volunteers also raised funds by selling about 260 T-shirts.
Money raised for the event will go toward the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which aims “to bring spirituality and the love and peace of Christ primarily through home visits by providing financial assistance with food, rent, utilities, medicine, and clothing to those who are suffering.”
The group’s local ministries include its annual Thanksgiving basket program, its “Giving Tree” program, which distributes Christmas gifts to more than 400 children annually, and the Trust in Jesus Cuisine Program, which serves meals to needy residents in North Park. The society also provides one-time help with utilities and rental assistance, prescription school backpacks for children, food and gas vouchers and prescription assistance among other services.
In addition to individual sponsorships, organizers received a $2,500 donation from the Modesto-based Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation. The foundation aims to provide educational opportunities to motivated underserved students and also serves women and children as well as homeless and blind people.
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