Sunshine and crisp air paved the way for over a thousand hikers to take part in the annual Byram Charity Hike at Hudson Farm, which raises money for community organizations such as emergency services, school and sports groups, and food pantries. The Hudson Farm Foundation contributes one dollar per year of age of each hiker who completes the trail, and that money adds up quickly to support the community.
Hike organizer Sharon Leon said she was hopeful that the 2019 hike would be a record-breaker, both in terms of participation and money raised.
“The most we’ve ever gotten in a single year was $130,000,” Leon said, “But we may pass that this year. Since we’re supporting some new groups this year, the money would be welcome.”
Leon said that in the 14 years since the hike’s inception, $850,000 have been distributed to local groups, and to complete the 2019 hike with all-time high totals could put them over the million-dollar mark.
“We’re supporting the schools, our first responders, and the food pantries,” she said. “And this year, we’re also supporting the free clinic in Newton. It’s so important to help our neighbors in need of food and medical assistance.”
The event is also volunteer-driven, and Leon said coordinating the hike creates a fellowship among the groups.
“This is a hand-in-hand event,” she said. “It takes the work of every single volunteer to make this happen. It just melts my heart to see people come out and participate and really understand the importance of this for our community.”