Walk-A-Thon Saturday this year dawned crisp and cool- perfect walking weather. Nearly 250 people gathered, wearing our new, bright sapphire t-shirts that proclaimed our goal to be “10,000 Steps Closer” to equity over the course of the next five miles.
Someone playing the djembe beat a triumphant riff, and we were off! New Kindergarteners of The Family Matters School alongside their parents, tutor/mentors and volunteers, abuelas and aunties and best friends, long-time supporters and those new to the group, community residents from near and far, and Family Matters youth of all ages paraded down the North of Howard neighborhood streets toward the Lake. Passersby greeted us with waves and cheers. We told stories, learned of family news, and kindled and rekindled friendships. It was a day to remember and a day to celebrate well into the coming year.
Our 30th Annual Walk-A-Thon was a testament to the bonds that grow between and among people who share an open desire to know one another- a family reunion of sorts. The day was filled with the joy of a team of Family Matters alums gathering to walk, side by side, after years away; the spirit of playful competition among youth as they vied for prizes in the post-walk carnival games (and the look of pride when one boy, who’d already won his own toy, sank the Ping Pong ball into the farthest cup to secure a stuffed animal for his baby brother who was watching in a nearby stroller); and the sense of accomplishment of all involved, working together as a team. Walkers regrouped back at the park, ready to dig into burgers tended by the grill chefs and a rich buffet provided by generous neighborhood vendors. The work of tireless volunteers bookended the event, from registration to clean-up, and everything in between.
The Family Matters family thank you for your commitment to Family Matters. We raised more than $50,000, thanks, in part, to you. Your support means so very much to us.