The Journey Begins: A Campus Send Off

Just as athletes and resident assistants are moving back onto campus for the upcoming academic year, 43 dedicated Saint Anselm students were driving in the opposite direction, away from their beloved Hilltop.

The group of 35 students, 5 student-leaders, and 3 student-EMTs are finally on the road to Lewiston, Maine where they will turn around and walk 130-miles back to Saint Anselm to raise money for nine charities in Maine and New Hampshire.

Today, 40 backpacks lined the walls of the North Lounge in Cushing Center as the group of walkers gathered for last minute instructions and to hear from Upreach Therapeutic Riding Center, one of the charities that benefits from their trek.

PHOTOS: See our gallery of images from today's send-off ceremony on Flickr.

Barb Miles, Upreach’s director of development, reminded the students about the types of people who benefit from their services and most specifically, from therapeutic riding.

2013 Road For Hope participantsLearning more about the charities and volunteering their time with those organizations has become an important aspect of the Road for Hope. Over the summer each leader worked closely with the charities, planning visits and learning about the organizations to share with the walkers.

“We have received nothing but enthusiasm and appreciation from the charities for our donations but taking the time to stop by and meet them face to face and actually show an interest in what they do I feel brings it to the next level,” said Eric Boumil.

College President Dr. Steven DiSalvo echoed that sentiment. He wished the students luck reminding them that they are not only raising money for the charities but raising awareness.

“As you make the pilgrimage, think about the people you’re helping and how you’re impacting their lives,” said Dr. DiSalvo.

Director of Campus Ministry, Sue Gabert gave the group some final words of wisdom, reminding them that this upcoming week was for “talking, visiting and being with nature, spending time reflecting.”

She also said to take care, especially of their soon-to-be-blistered-feet. Backpacks were tossed over shoulders, and final preparations made by leaders.

Following a prayer led by a student, the 35 student-walkers boarded the bus, excited for what lies ahead.

The 15th annual Road for Hope is (finally) underway.

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