From Lewiston to Goffstown: St. Anselm students walking 130 miles for charityBy MELISSA PROULX
Union Leader Correspondent August 22. 2017 12:49AM
GOFFSTOWN — A 130-mile trek isn’t typical back to school preparation, but that’s just what a group of St. Anselm College students will be doing over the next week.
On Saturday, a group of 46 students left from Lewiston, Maine. They will arrive at St. Anselm College this upcoming Saturday, where they will finish their journey.
Over the next four days, they’ll be stopping overnight in four other Maine towns: Gray, Standish, Waterboro and Sanford. On their fifth day, the group crosses over into New Hampshire, where they’ll stay overnight in Rochester, Northwood and Candia before returning to the Goffstown college.
The walk is part of The Road for Hope fundraiser that started nearly two decades ago.
Rev. Seamus Griesbach of Portland Diocese, a Maine native and St. Anselm alum, was the first to make the long walk. He made the journey before the start of his freshman year in 1998 with his younger brother.
The following year, Griesbach recruited 30 people to join him and started fundraising for local charities as a part of the walk.
This past year, a record number of applicants were considered to take part in the walk. Students have to apply to participate and the students from this year’s group represent eight different states: Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Virginia.
“Interest has grown each of the last three years even though the walk is emotionally and physically exhausting,” said Jenna Baker, the student leader for the walk. “But participation is so rewarding.”
Baker, who is from Scituate, Mass., will be a senior this fall.
One of the new walkers this year is Ted Boivin, a senior from Nashua.
“The feeling of contributing to something so much bigger than yourself is worth it, and when you finally do get to rest, it’s so much better from the hard work you’ve already done,” he said.
Others who have already taken part in the walk echoed these words.
Cori Swanhart, a junior from New Fairfield, Conn., completed the walk last year and said the walk was more than an opportunity to raise money for charities.
“I knew I was walking to raise awareness about the importance of paying it forward,” she said. “But, I also knew there was more to it than that. It wasn’t until I crossed St. Anselm Drive that I realized I was walking to become a better version of myself.”
More than $24,000 has been raised to date for nine New England charities.
The Maine nonprofit organizations include Community Concepts of Lewiston, Good Shepherd Food Bank of Auburn, York County Shelter Program of Alfred and Birthline/Catholic Charities of Portland. In New Hampshire, the money is donated to Kid’s Café of Manchester, the Rochester Recreation Arena and Youth Services, Candia Moore School Drug Awareness Program, Upreach Therapeutic Riding Center of Goffstown, and St. Charles Children’s Home of Rochester.
Updates on the walk can be found on the Road For Hope blog at blogs.anselm.edu/rfh.