SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 8, 2014

Letter: Good Friday walk is a celebration of a live well-lived


The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

The 35th annual Good Friday Walk will be held April 18. Many of the walkers who collect money from sponsors will be walking with pride knowing that they are helping their North Shore neighbors. This is an excellent opportunity to remember what is really important and to re-establish priorities. Easter is a time of renewal, and we need to be thankful for the many blessings in our lives and acknowledge how lucky we are. As we walk the 10.5-mile route, we are grateful that we have the good health to do so. Surrounded by friends and neighbors during the walk, we are uplifted by the great people we have in our lives. When we stop for a break and greet many people whom we had not previously known, we are filled with good cheer to know that these people make Beverly a great place to live.

For the Battistelli family and those who knew Ray Battistelli, the founder of the GFW, the walk is all those things and more. Ray died in 2005. This is the ninth year without his direct guidance. Our mission to offer human dignity and compassion to those less fortunate will never change. Ray’s ideals remain at the heart of what the GFW is today. The GFW is a celebration of a life well-lived. Each year, I celebrate Ray Battistelli’s spirit of goodwill and the lasting impression he made on our community. We are not immortal. The greatest mark of a man is what is left after he is gone. The Good Friday Walk continues to help our neighbors, because Ray Battistelli created goodwill and trust that the GFW would utilize donations to help our neighbors through a crisis. Our funds help them today so they can help themselves tomorrow.

We are expecting as many as 600 walkers on Friday, April 18. The walk will begin with registration from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist School at 552 Cabot St. The walk has a midpoint in Beverly Farms, where sandwiches are served. Visit our website at goodfridaywalk.org for a sponsor sheet or call 978-927-5847 to offer your assistance or ask questions. Donations can be sent to the Good Friday Walk at PO Box 646, Beverly, MA 01915. Help us help our neighbors while keeping Ray’s legacy alive.

David Battistelli

Beverly