Kiley Russell, left, Anya Begue, middle and Kelly Pickreign - all seventh grade Bromfield students - participated in the Good Friday Walk for Hunger on
Kiley Russell, left, Anya Begue, middle and Kelly Pickreign - all seventh grade Bromfield students - participated in the Good Friday Walk for Hunger on March 29, 2013. Here the three are in the home stretch, walking down Lovers Lane in Harvard. (Nashoba Publishing photo/Mary Arata)

HARVARD - There were two hopes - good weather on Friday, and meeting the $29,000 fundraising goal.

The sun was shining for the 29th annual Good Friday Walk in Harvard. And walk organizers have confirmed that the fundraiser did top the $29,000 mark "by a little bit," said volunteer Becca Day-Newsham.

It's been a climb back into those types of tallies for the walk, which has been hard hit by the economy. Day-Newsham said the walk raised about $20,000 two years ago and $23,000 last year.

This year, the goal was to bring the total up to match the number of years the popular event has been in existence - $29K for 29 years. "We did it!" said Day-Newsham.

Steve Miller, Marcia Croyle, Karen Shea and Mary Ellen Miller - all of Harvard - walked as a pack on Madigan Lane.
Steve Miller, Marcia Croyle, Karen Shea and Mary Ellen Miller - all of Harvard - walked as a pack on Madigan Lane. (Nashoba Publishing photo/Mary Arata)

Proceeds of the non-denominational event support two important charities: Loaves & Fishes, the largest food pantry in North Central Massachusetts located on Devens, and Sharing, Inc., which helps impoverished youth in the rural South.

After registering at the Harvard Congregational Church event headquarters, hundreds walked the 5-mile route through town: up Ayer Road, down Depot Road, up Prospect Hill Road, down Madigan Lane, onto Still River Road, to Lovers Lane for the return trip to the town common.

"The energy was great," said Day-Newsham. "It was breath of fresh air."

Donations may be sent to Good Friday Walk, 94 Jackson Road, Suite 105B, Devens, MA 01434.

Follow Mary Arata at twitter.com/maryearata.

Patti Stadler and daughter Bernadette Stadler of Harvard walk with their golden doodle Coco on Prospect Hill Road.
Patti Stadler and daughter Bernadette Stadler of Harvard walk with their golden doodle Coco on Prospect Hill Road. (Nashoba Publishing photo/Mary Arata)