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Spring 2023 President's Message
In June of 2019, at Paul Kiczek’s request, I stepped up to lead FreeWalkers. It’s both an honor and a lot of work, and most of the time a ton of FUN! This winter I had to take a back seat from walking long distances, following a total knee replacement on February 13. With that said, thanks to the work of so many others, nothing changed with FreeWalkers. Our group continues to move forward with old favorite walks and exciting new ones, too.
What’s New? In 2023 we welcome three new leaders, who in addition to walking and leading with us, are also ShoreWalkers: Marcella Scire, who will lead an upcoming new Brooklyn walk on June 17th; Violet Chen, who this winter led two magnificent Jersey City mural walks and a different version of the D&R Canal; and Bob Wallace, who this summer will lead two walks in the Hudson Valley on the Croton Aqueduct, one very long and one shorter one. And our board of trustees has grown to six members with the addition of John M. Codd.
When FreeWalkers was founded in 2010, Paul led almost every walk, until gradually more folks stepped up to volunteer. Now, we host close to 60 walks per year and proudly have a dozen or so walk leaders. And we are still growing!
Becoming a Walk Leader: Walk leaders are volunteers who create, route and lead events. Do you have an idea for a new walk and would consider leading it? We’re always open to new ideas. If so, reach out to us and we will walk you through the process to become a FreeWalker leader.
Mini-Walks: In addition to our usual long walks, we have FreeWalkers mini-walks. What is a mini-walk? This is when a long walk has an option to make it shorter by simply ending at a convenient spot. Come along, do a few miles and either continue or drop-out as you please. Not every walk has this option, but if you see a walk that catches your interest and want to try it, simply reach out to the leader or one of our trustees to discuss your options.
Do we ever cancel a walk? Rarely, but yes. What determines if a walk is cancelled for any reason? A cancellation could be due to severe weather conditions or the leader is ill or has an unexpected personal conflict. If so, we would surely try to substitute another leader, but it’s not always possible. It’s unusual, but if a walk is cancelled or rescheduled, notice is sent out either the night before or the morning of the event. If you registered for that specific walk, check your email, Meetup and/or Facebook for updates. We will always do our best to notify everyone; however, if in doubt, ask.
Risa Olinsky, President
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FreeWalkers is a 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) organization. Consider making a donation here.