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 didnt 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.
Thats why Buzzell believes in CROP the walks help CWS make a difference.
After last years 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 didnt make sense not to do it again, she said. If we reach either of those goals, Ill 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 itll expand.
The idea is to encompass the whole county, and Sunday, there were people from across the area making the walk from the Firemens Field down Shore Road as far as they could go.
Its 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 Levines 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.
Its a family affair, Mary Simon said, cuddling CROPs 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?
Its a good cause, she said. And its in Sullivan County.
Buzzell said thats what she likes to hear with about a dozen business sponsors and a gracious community, this years walk raised approximately $6,000.
Im not at all disappointed, Buzzell said. Because right now, in the current climate were 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!