GRIP Harmony Walk rallies community at Nicholl Park

By Zach Chouteau

Hundreds of Richmonders turned out for the 31st Annual Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) Harmony Walk & 5K run, which began and ended at Nicholl Park on Saturday.

While the day began with a foggy chill—which would turn to sunshine by the afternoon—it couldn’t dampen the spirits of registered walkers, GRIP supporters and local luminaries like Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and County Supervisor John Gioia, who were all on hand to help raise funds to fight hunger and homelessness.

Following a few brief remarks from speakers that included Butt, Gioia, GRIP’s new Executive Director, Kathleen Sullivan, and Chevron Community Engagement Manager Andrea Bailey, participants took part in a brief stretching routine before taking to the 5K loop around downtown Richmond. While a few runners took part, the vast majority of attendees walked the course.

The GRIP walk led participants back to Nicholl Park, for an afternoon carnival that included a bounce house for the kids, automated photo op stand and some info kiosks that included Halloween goodies.

Chevron, a major sponsor of the yearly event, has also been a substantial funder of GRIP over the years and has provided more than $1 million over the past 15 years for the group’s shelter and support of the homeless.

The event was also sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, Sims Metal Management and Mechanics Bank.