350 runners and walkers - and their dogs - descended on Lincoln Park in Los Angeles Saturday, September 28, 2013 for the first annual Friends of the Poor Walk/Fun Run to raise money for those living in poverty in Los Angeles. Over $26,000 was raised to help the needy through Catholic charity the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles sponsored a community festival and health fair in conjunction with the Walk/Run with overall attendance of 500.
"California has not only the largest increase overall poverty in recent years but has the highest rate among every state in the country," said St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles' executive director David Fields. The society has a long history serving the poor worldwide in over 149 countries.
The Walk/Run's presenting sponsor Forever 21 had many employees walking and running. Forever 21's Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Jain said the global apparel company sponsored the event because, "We want to support our neighbors in need."
Walker Guillermo Barillas said he thinks the statistics are even higher for poverty in Los Angeles in reality. Another walker, Noe Soto agreed, saying, "It makes me think we need to do more to help during the year."
Photos: (Top) Runners and walkers at the event; (Bottom) Guillermo Barillas, Noe Soto and vice president Carlos Barillas of Saint Dominic Savio Conference with family and friends.