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Hundreds Walk for Humanity

25th April 2013   ·   0 Comments

By J. Kojo Livingston
Contributing Writer

It was a sea of purple, reflecting the color of the t-shirt that each participant in this year’s Walk for Humanity received with their registration. Everyone from elected officials to college students made their way to Clyde Fant Parkway to run or walk one mile or three.

The crowd was provided with healthy snacks and water. There was face painting and a mini-train for the children. Patrick Mosley of Mosley’s Movements, led the crowd in a vigorous warmup.

More than 700 people turned out this year, topping last year’s count of 600, which topped the previous year’s numbers. The event has continued to be a success, the delight of event coordinator Velma Tarver. “We are so excited about the turnout alone the participation aside from the walk. We raised well over $75,000, much of it from people who just gave donations but did not come to the event. They just wanted to support the cause.”

After the race, numerous prizes were awarded for winners by age category. Then over a dozen prizes were awarded to winners of a drawing. These prizes included expensive steak dinners and stays at luxury hotels, all donated by local businesses.

Tarver says the money will help fund a culinary school for the young women her program, the Institute for Global Outreach, has been serving for the past three years in Ethiopia. Many of the young mothers are rape victims who did child care until they were attacked…often by their employers…and then fired when they became pregnant. Most had no skills. It’s good to be able to feed and house and help people,” Tarver told The Louisiana Weekly, “But it’s even better when you can help them fend for themselves. That’s what the culinary school is doing for these young ladies.”

The Institute for Global Outreach is currently sponsoring 250 people, mostly women’s and children in Ethiopia, addressing a wide range of needs for the impoverished population. Tarver makes personal trips to Ethiopia to interact with the recipients and ensure that the program is accountable for all funds received.

This article originally published in the April 22, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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