By Kaitlyn Kuzara
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
Community Missions of Niagara Frontier is hosting its annual “Walk for Niagara” fundraiser from Whirlpool State Park to Devils Hole State Park in Niagara Falls on Saturday, May 4, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
This year, Community Missions has decided to add a colorful twist. A color portion of the walk will be incorporated and begins with check-in at 9:30 a.m. Traditional walkers can register at 10:30, with the walk scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m.
During the color portion, volunteers and participants will be throwing an abundance of colors into the crowd, so walkers are encouraged to wear white to embrace the rainbow.
These paints are safe on animals. Speaking of furry friends, treats and water dishes will be available for the four-legged walkers, so participants are welcome to bring dogs along to this fundraiser.
Community Missions is asking people to raise $50 prior to the walk to further enable the agency to help others in need. It’s as easy as asking 10 people for $5 each or five people for $10 each. Prizes will be given out to the top five people who raise the most money, and there will be a pizza party for the school that raises the most. Complementary Tim Hortons will be offered before the walk, as well as hot dogs afterward as a thank you for participating.
Community Missions is a nonprofit organization and is the largest provider of basic human needs in Niagara County. Fundraisers such as the “Walk for Niagara” are important since they help to fund expanding programs. Since there are only five or six fundraisers held per year, it is important for people to participate and donate both their money and time.
“Typically, this event has raised somewhere between $7,000 -$10,000, so it is certainly worth the time and effort we put into it,” Director of Public Relations and Development Christian Hoffman said.
Hoffman continued, saying, “It’s a great opportunity for the community to get involved with Community Missions. People may come with friends and family to one of our fundraisers and realize what it is that we do and then want to come start volunteering. Volunteering is very important to us and we cannot do what we do without volunteers.”
Although there aren’t many volunteer opportunities within this fundraiser, Community Missions is always welcoming and encouraging people to donate their time, whether in the food pantry, clothing closet, or emergency housing shelters, which are funded by events like the “Walk for Niagara.”
In 2018, Community Missions provided 46,703 care days/contacts through mental health recovery services as well as 70,997 care days through mental health housing services. Within a roughly $7.5 million budget – the majority of which is funded through government contracts and grants – half goes directly to the mental health portion of the organization. There are 19 programs at 14 different locations. Fundraisers like the “Walk for Niagara” help to provide crucial funding to those other programs.
Along with mental health, Community Missions provides crisis and community services, youth services, and family services within Niagara County. Funding allows the agency to further reach out to people and enable them to find a job, a home or a sustainable source of food – whatever they need.
Community Missions is an organization that gives to people all over Niagara County. Volunteering and fundraisers are ways in which Niagara County can give back to Community Missions.
“Walk for Niagara” is an easy and enjoyable way for the community to come together and better the place they live in. Everyone is welcomed and, rain or shine, there will be compassion in action.
For more information, contact events and volunteer manager Susan Falbo at [email protected] or at 716-285-3403, ext. 2225.
REGISTER HERE: http://bit.ly/Walk4Niagara19