By Connor Beach
What started out as a confirmation project for seventh graders at St. Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Church in Huntington Station has blossomed into a more than two decades-old fundraising tradition in the community.
Ginger Hoernig of Huntington Station taught that class all those years ago, and said she has worked to keep the Good Faith Walk going.
“I don’t want it to stop,” Hoernig said. “Some people have been coming for the last 24 years and it does a lot to help people.”
This Good Friday will mark the 24th anniversary of the Good Faith Walk, and this year the walk will again be raising funds for two causes near and dear to both Hoernig and the Huntington Station community.
St. Hugh of Lincoln has always been one of the beneficiaries of the walk. Funds are donated to St. Hugh of Lincoln’s Outreach program, which helps local families in need through its food pantry, by offering school supplies for children in the fall and helping partially fund utilities and medical prescriptions for those who cannot afford them.
For the second year in a row, Hoernig said funds will also go to the Makenzie Cadmus Special Needs Trust. The trust benefits three-year-old Makenzie Cadmus who was born with the rare genetic disorder Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa.
The disorder is caused by the mutation of the gene that provides instructions to the body for making a protein used to assemble type VII collagen, one of the molecules that give structure and strength to a person’s skin, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
In little Makenzie’s case, any minor injury, friction, rubbing or scratching of the skin causes painful blisters and skin erosions. Although scientists have not yet found a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa, Makenzie’s parents continue to teach her to say “because I can” instead of asking “why me.”
Hoernig said the funds donated to Makenzie’s trust will help the family cover out of pocket medical costs, including bandages, which can reach as high as $10,000 per month. Hoernig said the walk usually picks a new charity to support each year, but Makenzie needs the support.
The walk kicks off at noon on April 19 at the Walt Whitman High School Track on 301 West Hills Road in Huntington Station and usually lasts around 45 minutes.
Walkers should bring donations of cash or checks made out to either of the charities, or checks can be mailed to Hoernig at 4 Chambers Court, Huntington Station, New York11729. For more information on Makenzie visit Helpmakenzie.com.