A ‘Walk in the Park’ to benefit UCare

By Emily M. Hobbs Staff Writer

April 23, 2014

On Sunday afternoon, community members are gathering in Newton Grove to take a walk in Weeks Park to garner support and raise funds for UCare, Sampson County’s domestic violence shelter. Newton Grove United Methodist Church members are working together again in support the effort.

“Registration for the Walk in the Park will start at 3:30 p.m. and we will walk from 4 until 6 p.m.,” said Teresa Greyard who attends the church.

“We will walk around the baseball field,” noted Greyard, explaining that the field is the meeting location for the teams of six.

“You can register when you get there,” Greyard added. It costs$5 per person to walk, with proceeds going to UCare. They will also be taking donations if someone does not want to walk.

“We will place you on a team if you don’t have one,” added Katie Paul, pastor at the church. “It’s also a nice way to meet people.”

“We can fill (empty spots on) your team if you don’t have six people,” said Greyard. She said church members will be glad to fill in to support the cause.

“The church has been very active in supporting UCare,” Greyard detailed, explaining that Brenda Warren used to be on the board, and she thought there was a need for more community support of the sheter and its efforts.

After registration there will be prayer, followed immediately by the walk. One member from each team will start walking around the baseball field, and then when they circle back around they will pass their baton on to the next person on the team.

“Some walk and some run,” explained Greyard. “It will be marked off with cones. The walk is open to all ages.”

“We will also have a band there, Carolina Tradition,” said Paul. “It’s a bluegrass band. There will also be water and snacks available.”

During the two-hour run and walk, there will be a scorekeeper keeping track of the number of laps for each team.

“Teams can also have names if they want,” said Greyard. “A small prize will be given to those with the most laps.”

“The team with the most laps would get something like a cup with candy or coupons,” Paul said.

Support for the walk is greatly appreciated, organizers noted.

“People often stop by and offer donations to support the walk,” Greyard added. It’s a family event for some and groups like the Boy Scouts have used the event as a project.

“We had nine teams last year, and 12 the year before,” Greyard remembered. “You don’t have to walk the entire two hours.”

“We do this to reach out and show love to those who might not otherwise see it,” said Paul. She emphasized that the work that Ucare does is vital to the community.

“We don’t see their needs, but they are there,” added Greyard. The Newton Grove United Methodist Church also has two UCare board members in their congregation.

“The church collects supplies for UCare as well, things like paper goods, cleaning supplies, or canned goods,” said Paul. “Whatever they need at the time.”

Anyone interested in walking on Sunday afternoon can get registered on-site at the park the day of the walk. For more information contact the church at 910-594-0604 or email Pastor Katie Paul at

Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at