CHDC 31st annual Walk-a-Thon goal is $25,000

By Tammy Keith Originally Published September 26, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated September 25, 2013 at 4:28 p.m.
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CONWAY — The fundraising goal of this year’s Conway Human Development Center Walk-a-Thon is $25,000, all of which will help residents in some way, said Elizabeth Litton, volunteer-services coordinator.

“It’s one of our major sources of raising money to utilize on the grounds for our residents,” she said.

The 31st annual walkathon is scheduled for 8 a.m. Oct. 5 at the center, 150 E. Siebenmorgen Road.

“A lot of our walkways are covered, but not all,” she said. The residents have to get in inclement weather to access certain areas of campus, and many of them are in wheelchairs, Litton said.

Proceeds also will be used to purchase Christmas gifts for the residents and workout equipment for the gymnasium, she said.

“We send out letters to businesses, parents and individuals here,” she said. Schools and organizations also participate.

“Some people just raise the money and don’t walk; some people do,” Litton said.

“We usually have a really good turnout from Vilonia seventh-graders, the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) group from there — they come out and support us,” Litton said.

Lisa Summerville, administrative assistant, said that this year, the Vilonia Middle School group plans to send 60 students.

“The more, the merrier; we always like to have 200-plus walkers,” she said.

This year that goal is likely to be surpassed, she said, because in addition to the Vilonia students, the Kappa Sigma fraternity at the University of Central Arkansas has gotten involved.

Registration will begin at 7 a.m. at the center’s visitation complex.

Preregistration can also be done at the visitation complex anytime leading up to the walk. Walkers must pay at least $25 to get a T-shirt and a ticket for a door prize, and each paying walker will receive a door prize. Grand prizes are available for walkers who raise a minimum of $400.

The walk will start at 8 a.m. A miniwalk, once around the perimeter of the complex, goes on at the same time as the 5K/walk.

“If you’re going to do the miniwalk, it will take about 45 minutes to an hour; if you’re going to walk and do the 5K, about 1 1/2 hours,” Summerville said. One time around the complex is the miniwalk; twice around is the 5K.

The miniwalk is for those 11 years old and younger and their accompanying adults, she said.

“We do have people out here from Conway who will run it,” Summerville said.

She and Litton agreed that the walkathon is about more than fundraising, though.

“Yes, it’s also to raise awareness about the center and what we do here and our impact upon the community and the community’s impact on the center,” Summerville said.

Litton said the goal of the center is “creating more quality of life” for its residents, and she hopes the walk encourages people to become volunteers, too.

Almost 500 school-age children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live at the Conway Human Development Center, a training facility.

Refreshments will be available before, during and after the walk, Summerville said.

“Businesses in the community have stepped up to donate some stuff,” she said, including coffee, doughnuts, cheese dip and chicken biscuits.

Proceeds from past walkathons have funded projects such as the therapeutic pool, the Family Visitation Complex, new playground equipment and more.

For more information, call the CHDC at (501) 329-6851, ext. 370 or 319.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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