The annual Walk-a-thon fundraiser, organised by the Youth Association of the Assyrian Church of the East in Sydney, has once again achieved its aim of bringing the Assyrian community together for a good cause.
The 2011 Walk-a-thon, held on 9 October, attracted 170 registered walkers who commenced the day by collecting their official Walk-a-thon shirts from St. Hurmizd Cathedral before being transported by buses to the future premises of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Cecill Park.
At Cecill Park, Rev. John Kushaba, parish priest of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, opened the event with an inspirational prayer, during which everyone stood in silence and prayed with heads bowed.
After the prayer, president of the Youth Association, Ashur Khoshaba, led the walk, followed by a large group who walked down Walgrove Road and made their way through five checkpoints.
“Seeing more than 170 people walking together in one line was a great sight,” said Mr Khoshaba.
At each checkpoint, Youth Association volunteer members greeted each walker with a smile and stamped their sponsorship forms.
Following the walk, which proceeded for 1.5 to 2 hours, the faithful reached Edessa Reception Hall where food, drinks and entertainment was organised to celebrate.
Mr Khoshaba offered a special thanks to all the volunteers and walkers, and said such events are held to bring the community closer as well as raise funds for important projects.
“Last year, a pregnant young lady walked the 10km route. This year, she did it again with her baby daughter, which was very encouraging to see,” said Mr Khoshaba.
Community members who donated their time and skills included: Dr John Atto; Bet Nahrin Transport; Edessa Reception Hall; Hammurabi Barhy Photography; Rev. Narsai Youkhanis and the Youth Association’s Central Committee who helped with preparations in the lead up to the event.
All funds raised will be directed to various church projects, with a designated amount to be donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which helps the lives of seriously ill children.[nggallery id=286]