Pioneer football team to participate in Crop Walk

October 2, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE-With homecoming festivities well underway at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the UWP Pioneer football team has more than just Saturday's big game against UW Stout., on its mind.

The team will again participate in Platteville's annual Crop Walk, a five-kilometer walk to raise money for world hunger relief. Last year was the football teams first walk, and the results couldn't have been more positive.

"The Pioneer football team's participation in last year's Crop Walk not only helped us raise more than $5,000, but it also brought more publicity and recognition to the event," said John Ambrosius, chair of the Platteville Crop Walk. "UWP's involvement was a big part of last year's success and we're glad to have them participating again this year."

Culminating the homecoming weekend, the Crop Walk will be held Sunday, Oct. 6. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Pioneer Student Center with the walk beginning at 1 p.m. Leaving from the UWP campus, the Crop Walk route will travel east down Main Street, turning north onto Broadway Street. The Lutheran Church of Peace on Water Street will welcome walkers with refreshments and a place to rest. The remainder of the route meanders west onto Pitt, Sylvia and Monroe streets, heading back south onto Washington Street to the UWP campus.

"The longer walk is about three miles and takes about an hour and a half to two hours to walk," said Crop Walk committee member Dennis Cooley, director of the UWP Office of University Information and Communication. "We also have a one-mile walk in case of inclement weather or for people who may want to walk a shorter distance. It's not the distance people walk that's important, but rather the fact that people are out showing their support and concern for such an important cause."

Money raised from the Crop Walk will be distributed locally and internationally. Three local food pantries, the Self-Help and Resource Exchange (SHARE) Food Pantry, the Platteville Food Pantry and the Southwest Community Action Program (CAP) Food Pantry will receive 25 percent of the proceeds raised from Crop Walk. The remaining 75 percent of funds will go to international relief of world hunger. This year's focus is Africa, the only continent in the world where hunger has not decreased in the last year.

Not only does the Crop Walk provide food for the hungry and raise awareness of world hunger issues, it provides students who participate in the event the opportunity to give back to the community.

"We encourage all our student athletes to get involved in community services," said Mark Molesworth, UWP athletic director. "Our student athletes receive a tremendous amount of support from the community, so it's nice to be able to give something back. And by encouraging our students to volunteer or do community service, we hope to instill a life-long devotion to community service that these students will take into their communities someday."

It's not too late to walk in this year's Crop Walk. There is no minimum dollar amount for pledges and people may register the day of the event. For more information on walking in the Crop Walk or sponsoring a participant, please contact Crop Walk Treasurer Linda Thomas at (608) 348-7530 or (608) 348-5960.

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