'Hope Walk' raises $35K this year
PENN YAN--There was a lot more than just hope at the "Hope Walk."
There was also a lot of inspiration, optimism, persistence, love, honor, dedication and community service exuding through the efforts and the words of the many "Hope Walk" participants.
The numbers are impressive. This year, twenty-one teams and 61 sponsors, totaling over 200 people, raised more than $35,000 for cancer support in Yates County from the "Hope Walk" Saturday, Aug. 25.
All money raised will support the group's Cancer Care Program, offering grants up to $500 to be used for whatever purposes the recipient decides, no questions asked.
"It can be used for anything," Ron Miller, "Hope Walk" board member, said. "We had one lady who couldn't clean her house. So we said, 'here's a check for $500. Go hire someone to help clean your house.'"
Applicants must prove only two things: they have cancer and they live in Yates County.
This past Saturday, sponsoring vendors began to set up their stations and teams began staking their tents to their plot of Stork Fields at 2 p.m. Vendors bordered the community center building, including a taco truck, t-shirt stand and silent auction stations selling everything from lawn mowers to spa gift cards. On the field, team members played corn hole and threw baseballs at a dunk tank.
At 6 p.m. the ceremony began to honor cancer survivors, followed by a dinner for any survivor present. After raffles were drawn and auctioned goodies distributed came the "more difficult part of the evening" said co-founder Dusty Baker, beginning with lighting of Hope bags around the field and the "empty table ceremony" at 10 p.m.
Team members proceeded to walk one lap around the darkened field in silent meditation, with candles in their hands and in the Hope bags providing the only light on the field.
"There are many things that go through my mind as I walk that lap," Baker said. "We honor those who survived but of course we think of those who passed away from this terrible disease."