One of the busiest Saturdays of the spring is coming up in Harford County on April 26, featuring four events many people have taken to marking their calendars for each year.
Walk A Mile in Her Shoes in Bel Air, Clear Your Clutter Day at Harford Community College, River Sweep on both shores of the Susquehanna River and the Harford Earth Day Celebration in Aberdeen are activities that put service and helping others at the forefront, while at the same time giving participants a chance to have a little fun.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
To coincide with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, Harford County-based non-profit SARC will host its sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence on Saturday in downtown Bel Air. The event has a goal of raising $50,000 to support SARC, which provides hope and resources for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking.
The event tent outside The Mill of Bel Air will open at 9:30 a.m. and on site registration begins at 10 a.m. Kickoff announcements and fundraising awards will begin at 10:30 a.m. while the mile-long walk begins at 11 a.m. Starting at The Mill of Bel Air, walkers will proceed south along North Main Street then turn right onto Churchville Road, looping around right onto South Bond Street to end at MaGerk's Pub and Grill for an after-party. Ten percent of all proceeds raised from the after-party will be donated to SARC.
The event is a light-hearted way for men to raise awareness in their community about the very serious causes, effects and remediations to men's sexualized violence against women. Many of the men wear ladies' high heels as a way of demonstrating the old saying, "You can't understand someone until you've walked a mile in her shoes."
Male walkers will be provided with shoes while supplies last. The event is also open to women and children. Each walker is encouraged to raise sponsorship funds. People who raise more than $500 and teams that raise more than $1,000 will be presented with comfortable slippers, in lieu of high heels, to walk their mile.
Harford County Council President Billy Boniface, who is serving as the event's honorary chair, will again be walking the event, as will a number of other prominent Harford County residents from all walks of life.
"I hope that everyone will come out to walk alongside others to support SARC's valuable work in our community," Boniface said.
To sign up or sponsor a walker, for the Bel Air event, visit the event page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, on SARC's "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence," visit the event Facebook page.
Two new sites have been added to Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway's 14th annual River Sweep, a volunteer shoreline and roadside clean-up in honor of Earth Day, that takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine, on both banks of the Susquehanna River.
The National Historic Tome School, on what was the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit, is a new location this year, as is Conowingo Creek Boat Launch in Conowingo. Other River Sweep sites include locations in Havre de Grace, Perryville, Port Deposit and Garrett Island.
Online pre-registration goes through today (Wednesday) at http://www.hitourtrails.com or by calling 410-457-2482.
Volunteers are asked to check in at 8:30 a.m. at one of the following locations: Tydings Park in Havre de Grace; Conowingo Creek Boat Launch and Octoraro Creek in Conowingo; Community Park and boat launch in Perryville; and Marina Park and National Historic Tome School in Port Deposit.
Anyone interested in volunteering on Garrett Island should bring a kayak or canoe and meet at the boat launch in Perryville. Boaters are also welcome.
Participants will fan out to spend the morning removing trash and other debris from the Upper Bay region, including the Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River and tributaries that feed into the Susquehanna River.
River Sweep volunteers are encouraged to wear old clothes and to bring work gloves. Volunteers who sign up in advance will receive lunch and a T-shirt (as supplies last).
Last year, approximately 775 volunteers donated their time during River Sweep. Volunteers, including individuals, families and youth groups, removed several tons of trash including tires, an old inflatable boat and debris from previous high-water events. Over the past 13 years, River Sweep volunteers have removed more than 72 tons of trash from area roads and waterways.
Sponsors of the 2014 River Sweep include Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and Exelon.
Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway is a nonprofit organization based in Darlington whose mission is to stimulate local economic activity by developing a link to natural, historic and cultural resources through land and water recreational trails. To date, 22 miles of continuous public recreation trails connecting Harford and Cecil counties have been built. The trail system also has been designated a priority segment of both the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. For more information about Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, visit hitourtrails.com.
Harford County's 11th annual Earth Day Celebration will be Saturday from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. at Aberdeen Festival Park, 60 N. Parke St. in Aberdeen.
Visitors will be able to see an array of environment exhibits, see wildlife displays, play recycled games and win prizes made from recycled materials.
There will be live music and food vendors and activities, including pedaling recycled bicycle machines, pedaling to make electricity, playing music on bicycle parts and pedaling to paint Frisbees.
Free tie-dye will be available; bring your own shirt to color.
The rain date is Sunday, April 27.
Clear Your Clutter Day
This Saturday is the fourth consecutive Clear Your Clutter Day, an annual event which provides a one-stop drop-off point for unwanted goods.
Event organizers Sappari Solutions and Harford Community College are partnering on the event, which will be held at the college's parking Lot A from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For a $5 fee, people can drop off one carload of items ranging from unwanted papers to plastic grocery bags for recycling or reuse.
Accepted materials include electronics and scrap metal, appliances, computers and monitors, cell phones, flattened cardboard boxes, plastic grocery bags, batteries, clothing, toys, household goods, eyeglasses, hearing aids, books, like-new building supplies and tools and like-new purses. Free paper shredding will be provided on site.
According to Nettie Owens, event coordinator and owner of Sappari Solutions, this year's event would not be possible without the support of event partners and sponsors including Bumble Junk, Goodwill of the Chesapeake, Shred Instead, Lions Club of Bel Air, SARC, Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, Harford Family House, Klein's ShopRite, Vehicles for Change, Harford STYLE Magazine, Harford's Heart, Harford Bank, Downtown Bel Air Alliance, Harford County Office of Recycling, Harford Cable Network, Bel Air Athletic Club, Brand It Images, JigSaw Marketing Solutions, Harford County Government, Bruce Hechmer from Long & Foster, MyWay Storage, Jim Miele from Miele Wealth, Kilby Cream, Keen Contracting and Rita's Italian Ice Churchville.
Clear Your Clutter Day will be held rain or shine. All admission fees and sponsorship proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna. For additional information, visit sapparisolutions.com or the event Facebook page.