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CT Walks for Haiti Constructs Model Haitian Home in West Hartford

A replica of a Haitian dwelling has been constructed on the lawn of St. James's Episcopal Church in West Hartford to draw attention to CT Walks for Haiti's 10th anniversary. Courtesy photo

CT Walks for Haiti will be holding its 10th annual walk on April 27, and to draw attention to its mission, volunteers have constructed a model of a Haitian home on the grounds of St. James’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford.

Sign in front of CT Walks for Haiti display on the lawn of St. James’s Episcopal Church. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

CT Walks for Haiti will hold its 10th annual fundraising 2.5-mile walk and festival event on April 27, and the organization’s president, Nancy Pelletier, wanted to do something extra to raise awareness of the nonprofit’s mission.

“This year, for our 10th annual event, I wanted to do something special to draw attention to it,” Pelletier said. “I wanted to build a house like you might see in Haiti, made of scraps.”

The biggest hurdle was where the house could be built – but that problem was quickly solved when Rev. Bob Hooper of St. James’s Episcopal Church enthusiastically agreed to allow it to be constructed on the lawn of the church’s 1018 Farmington Ave. property, a very visible spot on the western edge of West Hartford Center.

Pelletier had already secured volunteers, with Boy Scout Troop #146, led by Michael Dalton, offering to build the house. Scrap wood and metal was donated to the project, and the small-scale house was built on March 30.

Pelletier said that it’s great how many different parts of the community have come together to make this project happen. “We are an all volunteer organization,” she added.

On Saturday, April 27, the 10th annual CT Walks for Haiti Haitian Festival and Walk will kick off from St. Peter Claver’s Parish Center at 47 Pleasant St. and will wind through the Center and Blue Back Square.

Organizers said that there will be crafts, music, children’s activities, and delicious Haitian food. In addition, a silent auction will feature gift cards from local businesses, hand-crafted items, event tickets, and more.

Included among the auction items is a Steve Pearce autographed baseball donated by the Boston Red Sox. 

The CT Walks for Haiti event takes place rain or shine. Activities begin at 10:30 a.m., the walk starts at noon, and festivities end at 2:30 p.m. The festival will continue throughout the walk, and non-walkers and walkers alike will have plenty to enjoy.

Meteorologist Joey Furey will return as event emcee, and hundreds of people are expected to attend.

CT Walks For Haiti, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) all-volunteer organization, with a mission of “helping Haitians help themselves.” Proceeds from the event go directly as grants to the following charities, all of which have compelling needs, and which provide medical, nutritional, and educational services to vulnerable populations, Pelletier said: Camp Hispaniola, Haitian Health Foundation, Haitian Humanitarian Network, Medical Aid to Haiti, and Outreach to Haiti.

“We have raised almost $200,000 over the past nine years for projects such as nutrition for pregnant woman, medicine for clinics, and tuition for school children,” said Pelletier. “We’re really hoping to draw a big crowd for our 10th.”

For more information, visit www.ctwalksforhaiti.org or contact Nancy Pelletier at 860-803-6270. Donations can also be made to a CrowdRise fundraiser by clicking here.

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