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Hike for Life – 44 years of caring – Helping Moms, Saving Babies!

By Tom Clark State Culture of Life Chairman

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

The Hike has been going on since October 1973. It is Texas' oldest Pro-Life event. Its

mission is to raise funds for Pregnancy Help Centers, Maternity Homes, and Pro-Life Ministries in the areas where the Hikes are held, and seeks to raise awareness that these Ministries need our support both financially and prayerfully.

Back in the 70's it was a Knights of Columbus Council event having been started by a group of Knights in Garland (Council 6402) who were tired of hearing all the positive attention that legalized abortion was getting in the media. They decided to have a mass rally to show that abortion was not the correct "choice" and that there were loving options for moms who found themselves in "Crisis Pregnancy". Headed up by Chuck Schumacher, Ed Hubbuch, and several other dedicated Knights, the Hike for Life became "the" Pro Life event" in the Dallas area. It has continued each year since 1973 and is now known as "Texas' oldest Pro-Life event". In 1985 Hike for Life, Inc. was formed. This non-profit organization was given control over the Hike so that anyone donating to the Hike could use it as a tax deduction, and so that people who were not Knights could assist in the running of it. Nearly all of the Hike’s site coordinators are Knights and all of the Board of Directors in Dallas are Knights. The Hike is 100% volunteer and there is no one on the board, or any of the Site Coordinators, that receive a salary or stipend… our work is one of love that started 44 years ago and will be here until there is no more abortion in this country!

The original Hike was a single event site in Garland. After a few years the Hike was moved to White Rock Lake in Dallas. It was moved back to Garland in the mid '90's and the "original site" is now located at Audubon Park. The first Hikes were 20 miles long. Today they are a fraction of that at only 5K (3.5 Miles) but the Hikes are needed more than ever even if they are shorter in length.

In 2001 Tom Clark took over as President of Hike for Life and the single site that it had in Garland. By 2003 the Hike had grown to 3 sites and currently the Hike has 11 Sites in the Dallas Diocese, 3 in Fort Worth, and 1 in El Paso. Other Hike Sites have come and gone with hikes having been held in College Station, Brownsville, Harlingen, Bastrop, and even one during a KofC Convention in Corpus Christi.

This latest round of Hikes in 2017 have done well. The Dallas area Hikes are expected to raise over $100,000 for several ministries. The Garland Hike alone had over 27 Knights from Council11862 and nearly the same number from Council 6402. Multiply that by all the Hikes held in 2017 and that makes over 800 Knights that participated or volunteered at a hike this year alone.

In El Paso the Department of Public Safety, who were there for crowd control and safety, estimated that over 620 people attended that Hike alone with Bishop Seitz (El Paso) and Bishop Oscar Cantu (Las Cruces, NM)

The Dallas Hikes combine had over 2000 in attendance. Meg Finley with the Catholic Pro-Life Committee estimated that in Dallas alone 13 million steps were taken at the Hikes. The Hike has always said “Every Step is a Prayer”

Here is how the Hike has helped in 2016 and 2017

In Dallas the 2017 Hikes still have finds coming in, so I will list the 2016 totals

2016 Dallas Area Disbursements

  • $35,000 to White Rose PHC (Pregnancy Help Center)
  • $35,000 to Birth Choice PHC (Pregnancy Help Center)
  • $5,500 to Hope House PHC (Corsicana)
  • $3,500 to Mater Filius Maternity Home
  • $3,500 to Bella House Maternity Home
  • $3,000 to CPLC (Catholic Pro Life Committee of North Texas) – to train Sidewalk Counselors)
  • $1,000 to GRN Radio (The best Pro Life talk on the radio!!)

El Paso’s 2017 Hike is just getting wrapped up and the totals are not released yet.

In 2016 the El Paso Hike generated a total of $6500 for House of Hope and The El Paso Diocese Reverence for Life Center.

The Weatherford Hike, held in January 2017 generated over $14,000 for Grace House Pregnancy Help Center

The Aledo Hike was held in April of 2017 and it generated $5000 for Flourishing Tree Pregnancy Help Center.

And the Denton Hike, held in June of 2017, generated $5600 for Loreto House Pregnancy Help Center.

Please pray for the continued success of the Hike for Life – our motto “Helping Moms, Saving Babies” says it all and we would like to continue that for as long as we are needed.

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