May 4, 2009

BOSTON, MA - On Sunday May 3, three UMass Boston Athletes walked in and completed Project Bread's 2009 Walk for Hunger to raise money to help provide food for 400 emergency food programs including soup kitchen, food pantries, food banks, and food salvage organizations in 128 Massachusetts cities and towns. Freshman volleyball player Cassy Hanneman (Denver, CO), freshman women's soccer player Molly Kuchar (Ashville, NC) and sophomore men's ice hockey player Lenward Gatison (Blue Bell, PA) all made it through the 20 mile course that took them through Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Watertown and Newton.

Spearheaded by the UMass Boston SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Council), these three athletes as well as several others that walked parts of the course, donated money that went towards the \$3.8 million dollars raised in the overall effort. The funds raised will provide a hot meal or a bag of groceries for out-of-work families next winter.

"During these tough times, it's heartening to see so many Walkers show their support for those struggling to put food on the table," said Ellen Parker, executive director of Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger. "Our Walkers, Volunteers, and donors are the heroes of this event. They've come out to help those who are hurting as never before. We put out a call for their help and they've answered. Even the weather cooperated and we hope that's sign of better days to come."

Hanneman and Kuchar stayed together during the walk and actually decided to run five of the miles midway through the course.

"It was a lot of fun," said Hanneman. "There were so many people walking which was great to see, and all throughout the course the volunteers were really nice and supportive of all the walkers. We even made some friends along the way."

"We went into the walk thinking we'd go maybe five or six miles but once we made it that far we decided why not finish the whole thing," said Kuchar."

Gatison walked with members of his fraternity, the Boston Citywide Chapter of Omega Psi Phi. The fraternity partakes in many charitable events during the year and also puts on programs throughout the year to help raise money for local charities.

"It was tough walking in my boots for all 20 miles," said Gatison, "but once you start something you have to finish it. Around the fourth or fifth mile I was ready to pack it in but just kept reminding myself what I was walking for and that it was for a great cause."

Since 1969, the Walk has spurred 992,800 Walkers to tread 19,898,800 miles to raise over \$74 million to help hungry people.

UMB Athletes that participated in the 2009 Walk for Hunger: Paul Braude; Men's Tennis Cammy Brown; Women's Basketball Jill Collins; Women's Soccer Rocco Dabecco; Men's Lacrosse Lauren Duran; Women's Ice Hockey Lenward Gatison; Men's Ice Hockey Michelle, Gildea; Cross Country Kelly Gillis; Women's Ice Hockey Jaci Goodwin; Women's Basketball and Softball Leah Hallett; Women's Ice Hockey Cassy Hanneman; Women's Volleyball Jillian Hurd; Women's Tennis Molly Kuchar; Women's Soccer Katelyn Lajoie; Women's Ice Hockey Erika Marsters; Women's Soccer Katie McPherson; Women's Tennis Kristin Mulry; Women's Soccer Ryan Norton; Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Sandy Parlato; Women's Ice Hockey