This year’s CROP Walk on Sunday Oct. 14 will be held in memory of Rev. Alden Besse, founder and leader of the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the national walk to raise money to end hunger around the world. Reverend Besse died on Dec. 13, 2017 but his spirit lives on all over the Island, in particular in every step of this annual event, which he first organized in 1991.

“It brings us together doing something constructive,” he said while participating in the 2014 walk. “I’ve made some good friends over the years.”

The walk raises money for Vineyard charities, with 25 per cent of the funds going to the Island Food Pantry and the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. The other funds are used by Church World Service in the U.S. and globally.

In the same 2014 interview, Mr. Besse said that hosting a CROP walk on the Island is important because any place is in danger of becoming insular and not paying attention to the outside world. The poverty-stricken tend to live in isolated communities, Mr. Besse said, “out of sight, out of mind.”

The 6.2-mile walk begins at 2 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Church, 56 Franklin street, Vineyard Haven. The halfway point is the Trinity Methodist church in the Oak Bluffs Camp Ground, where walkers can enjoy and rest and a snack before heading back to Vineyard Haven.

For more information and to donate funds for the walk, visit