St. Johnsbury Academy's sixth annual Hilltoppers in Training Benefit Walk is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21. All money raised from the event, which is also known as the Walk to End Hunger in the Community, will be routed to support the non-profit Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA), headquartered in St. Johnsbury.

The day also will be the finale of a week-long drive to collect a school bus-load of non-perishable food items for area food shelves.

About 1,000 walkers, including nearly the entire Academy student body and faculty, are expected to take part in the event, Beth Choiniere, the school's assistant headmaster for Campus Life, said. Members of the local community are also encouraged to join the walk and support the cause.

Scheduled for a 2 p.m. start, the Walk will proceed north from Fuller Hall on Main Street to Arnold Park, then west on Mt. Pleasant Street, down Cliff Street and up Western Avenue, returning to the Academy campus in time for a 2:45 p.m. Pep Chapel and dormitory Open Houses, designed to integrate day and boarding students, scheduled from 3-4:30 p.m.

In addition to helping the community at large, Choiniere said, the Walk reinforces the Academy's stated mission, which includes encouraging the school's students, teachers and staff to take an active role in improving both their school and the community.

The event also supplements efforts to build and strengthen a sense of community within the school.

"By combining efforts from a Variety (dress-down) Day, a food drive, and a symbolic walk through town to help our friends and neighbors, we are also working to celebrate coming together as a community to help others who are in need," she added.

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