By Tim Eberly
The itinerary for Saturday's Walk for Peace a community fund-raiser to help the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been solidifed.
The opening ceremony for the walk begins at 10 a.m. in front of the Hill County Courthouse, when all children present will lead those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegience. The Rev. Brad Ulgenes of First Lutheran Church will follow the pledge by leading the participants in singing "American the Beautiful." And before capping the ceremony by singing "God Bless America" with the crowd, Ulgenes will offer some thoughts and prayers about the events that have unfolded in the last month. The VFW has donated a large quantity of American flags for the event, to be lined along the sidewalk near the Courthouse.
"We just wanted to keep it simple but yet give people time to reflect," County Commissioner Kathy Bessette said. "I think everybody has a kind of feeling that they want to do something."
Registration for the one- or three-mile walk, which starts at the Courthouse, begins at 9 a.m. and costs $5. For an additional $10, people can purchase a short-sleeved T-shirt. Long-sleeved T-shirts are being sold for $15. Since last Thursday, event organizers have sold more than 100 shirts while more than 50 people have preregistered for the walk resulting in a $1,000 profit already.
"A lot of people just bought shirts to make the donation," said Bobbie Jo Lawrence, who spawned the idea for the walk and coordinated the event.
The walk begins immediately following the opening ceremony, which should last roughly 15 minutes, Bessette said. After participants complete the course, they will convene at the VFW for a $4 barbeque luncheon at noon.
Proceeds for the fund-raiser will be sent to the United Way September 11th Fund, founded to provide financial relief for the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Scores of Havre businesses and organizations have donated food and beverages for the post-walk lunch. For example, Gary and Leo's IGA donated hamburgers and hamburger buns, while Rocky Mountain Packing Co. will supply hot dogs. The Duck Inn and Albertson's will donate potato and macaroni salad, and the Soroptomists will supply dessert items.
"I'm overwhelmed because of how generous the community has been," said Lawrence. "Everybody's just willing to help out."
Organizers hope no one has been confused by the name for the walk. It is not a protest against the military attacks in Afghanistan. The walk was named immediately following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Bessette said.