SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 19, 2014

Walking the Walk

More than 400 take part in 35th annual Good Friday trek

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — Four hundred thirty walkers, 10.5 miles and $65,000. Those are the numbers you can count on just about every year from the Good Friday Walk.

The 35th annual walk produced those figures once again yesterday, with the money going to help needy North Shore families pay rent and utility bills.

On a chilly day, the 400-plus participants walked from St. John the Evangelist School in North Beverly to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms and then back again.

“Overall it was a very successful day,” said Alan Battistelli, president of Good Friday Walk.

The late Ray Battistelli, Alan’s father, began the Good Friday Walk in 1979 to raise money for families in need. Last year the organization distributed nearly $75,000 to 249 North Shore residents.

Yesterday’s walkers ranged in age from 10 to 80, with an 80-year-old woman from Arlington walking half the course, Battistelli said. Among the walkers was Mayor Mike Cahill, who is on the Good Friday Walk’s board.

Walkers were treated to hot cinnamon buns at the Church in the Cove and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches at St. John’s Episcopal. About 80 volunteers, including crossing guards along the way, helped out.

An anonymous donor donated about 500 T-shirts for all the walkers and volunteers.

“People like the Good Friday Walk,” Battistelli said. “What’s not to love about the Good Friday Walk? You raise funds and you give it all away.”

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.