NEW BRITAIN - The Pathways/Senderos Center will be hosting its 21st annual autumn walkathon at Walnut Hill Park on Sunday, Sept. 29, to support its continued efforts in helping the boys and girls of the center.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. behind the Darius Miller Bandshell. Walking will begin around 10 a.m.
“It’s something where we can come out and spend a nice little morning at the park with some people who may know us, but may not see us or spend time with us. It gives them some time to see some of the kids and support what we do,” said Geoff Eltreich, community education coordinator/family life coordinator at Pathways.
Participants will gather and walk at least one loop around the park, but can do more if they prefer. The registration fee to participate is $20, but any size donation can be made online.
Refreshments will be provided before and after the walk. And there will also be raffles. Raffle tickets will be $5 each and there are several prizes that will be awarded to the winners. In-kind raffle gifts are also being accepted.
“If people buy the tickets beforehand (online) they don’t need to be there to win. Obviously we encourage people to come, but if you happen to buy a raffle ticket and you win you don’t have to be there, we will honor the raffle ticket and prize,” said Eltreich.
The Pathways/Senderos Center strives to eliminate teen pregnancy by focusing on different components that impact young lives such as academics, career readiness, family life, sex education and self esteem enrichment. The kids can range anywhere from 13 to 18 years of age.
“We do as much as we can for our students. We provide school supplies, hygiene supplies, backpacks before the school year, we do turkey distributions on Thanksgiving, we have a holiday party and end of the year celebration, really creating a parallel family at the center,” said Eltreich.
About five years into the program, when the center was in its original Arch Street location, organizers were thinking of fund-raising events to help expand their efforts to help local youths. They decided to do a bikeathon and walkathon. A 5 and 10 mile route was set up around the city near the reservoir where bicyclists and walkers navigated the path of their choice. It later turned into the Pathway Walkathon.
“It’s just a great little event, all the proceeds helping out the center and it is generally our biggest fundraising event of the year,” said Eltreich.
There are different levels of sponsorships for the event starting with $1,000 for Platinum level, $500 for Gold level, $250 for Silver level and $100 for Bronze level.
The organization has announced that its first Platinum sponsors for the event are New Britain OB/GYN Group, PC and the Petit Family Foundation. The Center also says that the People’s United Bank and the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain donated at the Silver level and that Bronze sponsors include Karen Kellerman and Peter Arakas.
Pathways/Senderos asks that all sponsorships be received by Sept. 16 in order to have them printed on the T-shirts.