MARLBOROUGH – The Assabet River Rail Trail was crowded on Saturday, Sept. 23, as nearly three dozen walkers raised money to help the needy.
The annual Friends of the Poor Walk, sponsored by St. Vincent de Paul, brings together congregants from Immaculate Conception and St. Mathias parishes.
According to Peter Militello, a parishioner at Immaculate Conception and walk coordinator, about $23,000 has been raised from the event so far. Most of the funds have been collected from online and business donations.
He also announced that the parishes have given $120,000 over the past year to help those in need in Marlborough, such as keeping people from getting evicted; keeping their lights from being shut off; having their cars repaired, etc.
“There is a great need in Marlborough,” he said.
“We help anyone in Marlborough in need,” said Stacey Militello, president of St. Vincent de Paul for Immaculate Conception’s conference [chapter].
She said that there’s no religious affiliation when it comes to distributing the donations.
In addition to raising funds, the local SVP chapters help connect those seeking help with resources such as the South Middlesex Opportunity Council.
“We understand the struggles people go through,” said Militello.
“It’s like an education a day,” said Maureen Pulice, the conference president of SVP for St. Mathias.
The three-mile walk had participants go part way up the rail trail and back, with a water break and snacks. Several volunteers stood at intersections to flag down traffic and guide walkers safely across. They included Russ and Sandra Morey from St. Mathias.
“It builds community,” said Sandra Morey. “We meet people and socialize, and it’s a great way to raise money.”
Walk supporters include the Community of the Sisters of St. Anne; J&D Murphy Foundation; Short & Rowe Funeral Home; CMC Inc.; and St. Mary’s Credit Union.