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Southwick Rotary Club to sponsor walk in honor of support coalition

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor



SOUTHWICK Earlier this month, the Southwick Rotary Club teamed up with the Greater Southwick Family Support Coalition to focus their efforts on aiding the rising number of families suffering from increasing costs of living.

On Oct. 5, the Southwick Rotary Club will be hosting the first Rotary Walk for Families in Need at the Southwick-Tolland Regional High School track.

"I'm still a little shocked that they are doing [the walk] just for us," Debbie Oppermann, director of the Greater Southwick Family Support Coalition, said, adding that all the money raised at the walk will go entirely to the coalition.

"Everything that we see on the evening news, local or national, is happening right here in Southwick too," she continued, adding that the national trends of poverty, homelessness and unemployment have a correlation on the local level.

Kristin Smith, coordinator of the Greater Southwick Family Support Coalition, noted that the number of families seeking support services at the coalition has increased over 100 percent this year, particularly in the food pantry.

"We're expecting record numbers [of needy families] this winter," Smith said.

Kate Johnson, vice president of the Southwick Rotary Club, explained that the club wanted to donate all of the proceeds from the walk to the coalition because of the anticipated influx in needy families.

Oppermann noted that the coalition has been given permission to use the funds as they see fit.

Johnson said the walk is open to people of all ages and will take place rain or shine.

Registration begins at noon and the walk will start at 1 p.m. There will be a 50/50 raffle, tailgating and prizes for the best tailgating party after the walk.

Sponsorship forms are available online at www.southwickrotary.org.

For more information about the walk or to be a part of the Walk Team Coalition call the Greater Southwick Family Support Coalition at 569-3456.