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Grand Marshals Named for Annual CROP Hunger Walk

Barbara Schmidt and Konrad Bald have been named Grand Marshals for the Oct. 14 Barrington event.

The Barrington Area CROP Hunger Walk Committee is proud to announce that Barbara Schmidt and Konrad Bald have been named Grand Marshals for the 30th anniversary of this event which raises funds for people in need in our communities and around the world.

Thirty years ago, Barbara Schmidt and the assistant pastor of her church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of Barrington, were discussing ideas for an outreach mission project.  Barbara mentioned CROP Hunger Walk, having learned of the walk from her brother, a CROP Walk organizer in his community.  She has been an active member of the Walk committee ever since.

Her work with the CROP Walk springs from a commitment to helping the less fortunate around the world, doing so through Church World Service and CROP. Also still a member of the outreach committee at St. Mark’s, she has taken two trips to Haiti. The mission trip this year had her using power tools to build desks for a local school. She hopes to return to Haiti sometime soon. Barbara acts on her belief that “each of us needs to reach out to others and give them hope and the ability to have a better life.”

Konrad Bald grew up in Bavaria, Germany and came to the U.S. as a student in 1949. He returned in 1952 and married his sweetheart, Del. They moved to Barrington and became members of Lutheran Church of the Atonement in 1981. Almost immediately, Konrad became involved in the CROP Hunger Walk because “I believed in the purpose of the CROP Walk—raising funds for the hungry and because at that time I was nimble on my feet.” 

He has been one of the top U.S. fundraisers since 2001, when he raised $20,624; in his first 25 walks, he raised over $157,000. He has been a volunteer at Northern Illinois Food Bank and was honored in 2002 as “Volunteer of the Year.” He has served in several capacities, including chairman of the social ministry board, at Atonement and was active in PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). He was elected to the BACOA Senior Hall of Fame in 1988 for his work with the CROP Walk and in 2007 received both the Barrington Area Development Council Citizen of the Year and Character Counts Awards.

Last year 461 CROP walkers raised over $39,000 for hunger relief, of which over $9,700 stayed within the community. The committee hopes to see the number of walkers increase this year by 30 percent as well as a 30 percent increase in funds raised to celebrate the 30th anniversary—hopefully over $50,500! Of that amount, twenty-five percent stays in the Barrington area,

The Barrington Area CROP Hunger Walk is on Sunday, Oct. 14. The Walk is hosted by and begins and ends at Lutheran Church of the Atonement, 909 E. Main Street, Barrington. Registration is at 12:30 p.m. and the walk begins at 1 p.m. For additional information contact chairperson Paul Vogel, cropwalk55@yahoo.com or 630-212-5816.

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