The Christian Center asks the public to step up its fight against hunger
Four years ago, the Christian Center of Park City decided to create a different kind of fundraiser and educate the public about its mission to fight hunger.
"We gave a lot of thought to how we could do something that created greater awareness to our programs and food bank," said Executive Director Rob Harter. "We thought about doing a fundraiser with a dinner, silent and live auction. We realized that there are so many of those types of events already and thought that we would rather provide something different."
So, Harter and the board of directors came up with the Hike for Hunger.
"We wanted to host an event that would not necessarily ask for any kind of support, because we didn’t want to pressure people into giving money at this event," Harter said. "Instead, we wanted to create an event that would be fun for people to do with their families and friends. It’s a way for people to learn about what we do in our fight against local hunger. But mostly it’s a great way to come together as a community.
"Who doesn’t want to go hiking at Deer Valley during the fall?" he asked. "It’s beautiful. And then, of course, we would throw in food, drinks and games and other activities on top of that."
The Christian Center’s fourth annual Hike for Hunger will be held at Deer Valley on Saturday, Sept. 12. Registration is $25 and can be done by visiting http://www.ccofpc.org . Day-of registration is $35 or a sack of food.
"A grocery bag of food can be given in lieu of the registration price," Harter said. "We’ll have our truck out there to collect these donations. We don’t want people not to come because they can’t pay the registration price."
The Hike for Hunger has grown since it was established in 2012.
"I remember we had just a little more than 200 hikers the first year and then 300 the next year and 400 last year," he said. "It actually rained the second year and we still grew in numbers from the first year."
Harter likes that the hike is a healthy event that anyone can do.
"You can hike by yourself or in a large group," he said. "We would love to see the full community come together for this and, unlike hotel ballrooms, there is plenty of room outside so there is room for it to grow and grow and grow."
New this year will be a chairlift ride and new trails.
"There is a new trail just off of the Silver Lake chairlift that is new to anyone who hikes regularly at Deer Valley," he said. "We also will present a new band — Bonanza Town, fronted by Park City’s Alicia Stockman."
In addition to the hiking and music, the Hike for Hunger will include several bounce houses, lawn games, face painting, Deer Valley food, thanks to a donation by Nicolas and Company, beer, wine and soft drinks.
Bounce houses and face painting will start at 2 p.m. and the live music and food and drink will start at 4 p.m., according to Harter.
"All of this is included in the registration price," he said.
While the event will be a community party, Harter wants people to remember it’s all about the fight against hunger.
"People are still surprised at the need for food in Park City," he said. "We gave more than one million meals away last year. And we distributed $1.6 million of food. Those are astounding numbers."
The Christian Center of Park City facilitates two food pantries in the Wasatch Back — one in Park City and the other in Heber.
"We have people from the surrounding areas as far as Duchesne who use our services," Harter said. "We also distribute food at the Goshute Reservation in Western Utah.
"We provide a mobile food pantry once a month and also provide all the children on the reservation with snacks over the weekend," he said. "So, the need for food is somewhat hidden here, but it’s still an issue."
The annual Hike for Hunger, a food drive and fundraiser for the Christian Center of Park City, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Deer Valley Resort. Registration and check-in is from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. For more information or to register, visit http://www.ccofpc.org.
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Jennifer Pharr Davis, the 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, who set a record of covering the Appalachian Trail will speak of the ‘Pursuit of Endurance’ at the Park City Library on Wednesday.