Fasting for famine relief
Hay River organizers say 140 will fast

by Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 13/98) - Hay River residents will do their part for charity this weekend while they remind themselves what it feels like to go hungry.

"Right now we've got 140 people registered," organizer Glen Wallington said Wednesday. "We're hoping to hit somewhere between $7,500 and $8,000 this year."

Participants will fast for 30 hours April 17 and 18 at Diamond Jenness high school with all money raised going to World Vision Canada.

Fasters will be divided into men's and women's sleeping areas, using the music room and the library.

There will be activities in the concourse and gym for younger fasters, too, during the action-packed event.

Some fasters may have to work Saturday and will be on their honor to not eat, much like Muslims who do not eat between sunrise and sunset for one month each year.

If any Northerners choose to sponsor a child through World Vision, Wallington said it only costs about $35 to support a child each month. That includes paying for their education and helping to feed their families for a month.

"When you think about $7,500, it goes a long way towards helping kids to eat and stuff."

After the fast is over, there will be a light meal of soup and sandwiches.

Shops in the community are helping by supplying juices, cups and dishes for the meal at the end.

"When you come down after a fast like that you don't want to eat a lot of really harsh foods so we'll have a soup and sandwich meal at the end," said Wallington, who fasts every year.

"The parents usually supply that."

This is the third year for the fast.

"We're very fortunate we have food," said 22-year-old Andrea Webb, who plans to fast one day before everyone else because she is busy over the weekend.

"It's the least we can do. That plus my belief system is that Jesus gave up a lot for me."

World Vision has been around for years and sponsors several fundraising advertisements on television.

"You can sponsor children through World Vision, they're a very reputable organization," Wallington said before citing a dollar breakdown.

About 78 cents goes to community development and emergency relief programs while 10 per cent goes toward fundraising, four per cent goes toward public awareness and the remainder goes to other costs.

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