Antioch Walk-A-Thon a step toward the future

By Alanna Dvorak
UNC Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

On Sat., October 9, 100 people will gather on Holloway St. in Durham to walk for others.

First United Antioch Baptist Church in Durham, in conjunction with Antioch Builds Community, is hosting their 3rd Annual Walk-a-Thon to raise money for the Antioch Transitional Ministry for Returning Citizens.  The group provides transitional housing for inmates released from prison in order to aid in re-entry.

Antioch Pastor Michael Page at work. (Staff photo by Alanna Dvorak)

Antioch pastor Michael Page founded the group approximately two years ago.  Since it’s inception, the group, mainly volunteers from the church, has helped former inmates with finding residency and finding employment.  The group has opened one housing building and hopes to open up more in the future.

The event, “Walking to Restore Life and Self-Sufficiency,” begins at First United Antioch Baptist Church.  From there, participants will walk two miles around the neighborhood, for approximately one hour, concluding back at the church.

In the past, the event has featured over 100 participants, and Page anticipates this year will raise around $5,000.

“We do garner a lot of support from the members of the community,” said Page.  “In addition, community members support what we do and believe that it is the right thing to try and help those who struggle with independence after leaving the criminal justice system.”

Antioch Builds Community

In addition to the walk, for the first time ever the event will feature a health fair.  Following the walk, participants can get blood pressure screenings, glucose checks, and learn nutritional information.

“What’s a better way to be concerned about your health than a friendly walk and checking your health vitals when you have completed the walk?”  said Page.

In addition to health, fellowship and charity, the event will feature entertainment from the Durham Divas, a senior cheerleading group, and music from Hillside High School marching band.

Registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m., with a warm-up beginning at 9:30 a.m. followed by the walk.  All walkers are entered into a raffle to win various prizes, including gas cards, dinners at local restaurants and movie tickets.

Page encourages everyone to come out.  “It’s a unity march,” said Page.  “We should stand as a community to help others overcome obstacles.”

The walk should prove to not only bring current members of the community together, but to show open arms to people preparing to rejoin it.