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Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

TROY ROSSI, 11, chose his own mode of transportation for a portion of the CROP Walk Sunday – his skateboard. The Loch Sheldrake boy put the board aside and walked much of the way.

Walking to Stamp
Out World Hunger

By Jeanne Sager
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — October 4, 2005 – If a village can raise a child, what can a county do to stamp out hunger?
A lot, according to Sue Buzzell, the White Sulphur Springs woman who organized the second annual CROP Walk, held Sunday on Shore Road.
In its first year, the walk drew in 133 participants and raised a whopping $11,156.25 for Church World Services.
Twenty-five percent of that money stayed right in Sullivan County.
The rest was sent to the non-denominational organization to help people in true need, people like the victims of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast of the United States.
The hurricane hit on a weekend, but the levees in New Orleans didn’t break until late Monday evening, Buzzell said.
CWS workers were on the ground before those levees broke. They were there Tuesday morning to help the people flooded out of their homes.
That’s why Buzzell believes in CROP – the walks help CWS make a difference.
After last year’s walk drew so many, not just from the White Sulphur Springs Methodist Church (which Buzzell attends) but from the whole county, she set her goal at $20,000 and 200 walkers.
“It was such a success last year, it didn’t make sense not to do it again,” she said. “If we reach either of those goals, I’ll be thrilled.”
This should be an annual thing, Buzzell said.
Sullivan County should become known for its CROP walks so the people of the community are aware of the ever-present need, she added.
“Each year, we raise awareness,” Buzzell said, “and hopefully, each year it’ll expand.”
The idea is to encompass the whole county, and Sunday, there were people from across the area making the walk from the Firemen’s Field down Shore Road as far as they could go.
“It’s not so much about how far you walk as that you walk,” Buzzell explained.
The walkers came in all shapes and sizes – for the second year in a row, there was a horse signed up on the registration sheet – Nancy Levine’s Rocky II cantered behind the crowd.
And four-legged Harry, the canine “son” of Pastor Bridgette LeConey and husband Bud, helped lead the way.
Mary Simon came from Loch Sheldrake for the walk with daughter Shana Rossi, and her friend Mary Jane Donato and sons Troy Rossi and Devin Simon.
“It’s a family affair,” Mary Simon said, cuddling CROP’s youngest walker, 5-month-old Dylan Poley. “We have the whole family – nieces, nephews, friends . . .”
Why did she have the whole gang out walking on a sunny Sunday?
“It’s a good cause,” she said. “And it’s in Sullivan County.”
Buzzell said that’s what she likes to hear – with about a dozen business sponsors and a gracious community, this year’s walk raised approximately $6,000.
“I’m not at all disappointed,” Buzzell said. “Because right now, in the current climate we’re in, everybody has been busy raising money to send south.
“I know a lot of this money will go there,” she added. “And every dollar we raised was one more dollar than we had.
“Besides,” she added, “I know have even more ideas for next year!”

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