One of the busiest Saturdays of the spring is coming up in Harford County on April 26, featuring four events many people have taken to marking their calendars for each year.
Walk A Mile in Her Shoes in Bel Air, Clear Your Clutter Day at Harford Community College, River Sweep on both shores of the Susquehanna River and the Harford Earth Day Celebration in Aberdeen are activities that put service and helping others at the forefront, while at the same time giving participants a chance to have a little fun.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
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To coincide with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, Harford County-based non-profit SARC will host its sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence on Saturday in downtown Bel Air. The event has a goal of raising $50,000 to support SARC, which provides hope and resources for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking.
The event tent outside The Mill of Bel Air will open at 9:30 a.m. and on site registration begins at 10 a.m. Kickoff announcements and fundraising awards will begin at 10:30 a.m. while the mile-long walk begins at 11 a.m. Starting at The Mill of Bel Air, walkers will proceed south along North Main Street then turn right onto Churchville Road, looping around right onto South Bond Street to end at MaGerk's Pub and Grill for an after-party. Ten percent of all proceeds raised from the after-party will be donated to SARC.
The event is a light-hearted way for men to raise awareness in their community about the very serious causes, effects and remediations to men's sexualized violence against women. Many of the men wear ladies' high heels as a way of demonstrating the old saying, "You can't understand someone until you've walked a mile in her shoes."
Male walkers will be provided with shoes while supplies last. The event is also open to women and children. Each walker is encouraged to raise sponsorship funds. People who raise more than $500 and teams that raise more than $1,000 will be presented with comfortable slippers, in lieu of high heels, to walk their mile.
Harford County Council President Billy Boniface, who is serving as the event's honorary chair, will again be walking the event, as will a number of other prominent Harford County residents from all walks of life.
"I hope that everyone will come out to walk alongside others to support SARC's valuable work in our community," Boniface said.
To sign up or sponsor a walker, for the Bel Air event, visit the event page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, on SARC's "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence," visit the event Facebook page.
Two new sites have been added to Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway's 14th annual River Sweep, a volunteer shoreline and roadside clean-up in honor of Earth Day, that takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine, on both banks of the Susquehanna River.
The National Historic Tome School, on what was the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit, is a new location this year, as is Conowingo Creek Boat Launch in Conowingo. Other River Sweep sites include locations in Havre de Grace, Perryville, Port Deposit and Garrett Island.
Online pre-registration goes through today (Wednesday) at http://www.hitourtrails.com or by calling 410-457-2482.
Volunteers are asked to check in at 8:30 a.m. at one of the following locations: Tydings Park in Havre de Grace; Conowingo Creek Boat Launch and Octoraro Creek in Conowingo; Community Park and boat launch in Perryville; and Marina Park and National Historic Tome School in Port Deposit.
Anyone interested in volunteering on Garrett Island should bring a kayak or canoe and meet at the boat launch in Perryville. Boaters are also welcome.
Participants will fan out to spend the morning removing trash and other debris from the Upper Bay region, including the Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River and tributaries that feed into the Susquehanna River.
River Sweep volunteers are encouraged to wear old clothes and to bring work gloves. Volunteers who sign up in advance will receive lunch and a T-shirt (as supplies last).
Last year, approximately 775 volunteers donated their time during River Sweep. Volunteers, including individuals, families and youth groups, removed several tons of trash including tires, an old inflatable boat and debris from previous high-water events. Over the past 13 years, River Sweep volunteers have removed more than 72 tons of trash from area roads and waterways.
Sponsors of the 2014 River Sweep include Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and Exelon.