To the editor:
Singer-songwriter-activist Harry Chapin’s motto was: “When in doubt, do something,” and he put his money where his mouth was, by donating half the proceeds from his hundreds of concerts each year — millions of dollars in total — to help those in need, especially those who were hungry.
Since just a few months after his untimely death in 1981, thousands of concerned citizens in Croton-on-Hudson and beyond have followed in his footsteps with the annual Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger, raising well over $250,000 to carry on his mission.
This year, on October 19th, when citizens of all ages and abilities gather for the 28th annual Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger (see www.runagainsthunger.com), their efforts and Harry’s enduring legacy will have added poignancy.
This past March, Walter Gillis, a Croton resident, 25-year veteran organizer of the fundraising event, passionate fan of Harry Chapin’s music and work, and much-loved emcee on race day (who proudly played Harry’s music over loudspeakers so runners could hear it as they crossed the finish line), passed away at age 76.
But just as Harry’s “do something” approach inspired Walt to help end hunger, so too does Walt’s life and his commitment to helping those in need inspire others:
Students and faculty members from the PVC Middle School and the CET Elementary School in Croton will be running this year — and hundreds of other people from the community — Girl Scouts, honor society students at the high school, and others, will be volunteering to help make the event a success.
And just like Harry and Walt always helped the hungry, so too will the money raised from this year’s Run Against Hunger go to worthy organizations in need, including the Croton Caring Committee, the Cortlandt Emergency Food Bank (located in Croton), and World Hunger Year, which was co-founded by Harry.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
— Mike Grayeb, Volunteer Committee Member