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Outreach to Haiti Ride Stopped in Higganum

Submitted by Peter Sonski.

Riders completing the final stretch of a 337-mile trek to raise awareness and funds for a humanitarian service project, Outreach to Haiti, stopped at St. Peter Church in Higganum Sept. 29, 2017 to receive a donation from the local Knights of Columbus council.

The pastor, Rev. Peter Liszewski, along with four K of C members, greeted the trio of bicyclists and presented them a $250 check.

Outreach to Haiti cyclists Dan O’Sullivan, Tom Campbell and Ron Paine received a donation from Gerry Matthews, Rev. Peter Liszewski, Keith Kauffman, Leo Sirois and Peter Sonski outside St. Peter Church

Beginning in Freeport, Maine, a team of up to six cyclists made the five-day ride through five New England states. After stops Friday in Higganum and Middletown, the trip concluded in Farmington. Proceeds from the ride will support construction of a new care facility in the Haiti.

Outreach to Haiti is an initiative of the Catholic Diocese of Norwich, CT dating to the early 1980s. Through the years it has provided housing, education, health care, nutrition and community development programs for Haitians.

Executive Director Dan O’Sullivan of Killingworth, one of the riders, said about one-third of Haiti’s population (10.8 million) face food insecurity, indicating most Haitians live in Third World conditions. The distance of the ride, he said, is equivalent to “virtual ride” across the Caribbean nation. Donations from two previous rides totaled $40,000.

The poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti was largely spared by recent hurricanes but is still recovering from 2016 Hurricane Matthew and a devastating 2010 earthquake. The 7.0 magnitude quake left 300,000 people dead, displaced millions and resulted in widespread loss of food, potable water and sanitation. The country’s food supply is often limited by weather extremes.

To learn more and support the project, visit outreachtohaiti.org.

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