The 10th Annual Friends of the Poor Walk

The 10th Annual Friends of the Poor Walk will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 at All Saints Catholic School, 4001 NW 36th Avenue in Norman.

This is the major fundraiser for the South Central District of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Moore, Norman, Purcell and surrounding areas) and is held along with other St. Vincent de Paul Walks across the country.

This is the only Friends of the Poor Walk held in Oklahoma. Proceeds are used to provide rent and utility assistance to low-income families and individuals and prevent homelessness by providing emergency financial help.

St. Vincent de Paul is a ministry of the Catholic Church that helps families and individuals in need regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. Most of those helped are the working poor who experience short-term financial emergencies due to illness, unexpected car repairs, reduced hours at work or other situations that temporarily impact their ability to keep up with their monthly bills.

In addition to the Walk, the event includes a silent auction, a “kids only” silent auction, wine pull, and a special 10th Anniversary Cash Raffle with prizes ranging from $50 to $1,000 (need not be present to win). Only 2,000 tickets are available for the cash raffle. Tickets can be obtained from St. Vincent de Paul members at the participating churches. In Norman: St. Joseph, St. Mark the Evangelist, and St. Thomas More; St. Andrew in Norman and Our Lady of Victory in Purcell.

Dr. Michael A. Scaperlanda is serving as this year’s Master of Ceremonies. Dr. Michael A. Scaperlanda was named the 16th President of St. Gregory’s University on May 16, 2016. He and his wife, award-winning author Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, are longtime residents of Norman and members of St. Mark the Evangelist.  

All items, including the prizes for the cash raffle, have been donated. All proceeds go directly to help people in need in Cleveland and McClain Counties. No gifts, donations or money are used to pay administrative costs. The South Central District of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an all-volunteer non-profit organization. Last year, the South Central District helped 10,586 people, distributed $313,621 in financial assistance, and distributed $25,476 in furniture and other household items.

The event is free and open to the public. Anyone who would like to help raise funds can register as a Walker at www.fopwalk.org and participate in the special “10 for 10 for 10” Challenge: reach out to ten sponsors and invite them to change lives by donating $10 in honor of the tenth year of the Walk, and receive a free Walk shirt and prayer band. More information can be found at www.svdpokc.org. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is one of the oldest service organizations in the world.