By Gina Martinez
The Center for the Women of New York held its 9th annual walkathon at Fort Totten Park Saturday, raising funds for operations and services and the renovation of the group’s new headquarters at Fort Totten.
A group of about 100 women walked along Fort Totten from at 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The walk was led by CWNY founder Ann Jawin, who started the organization 30 years ago to provide assistance to victims of domestic abuse through support groups and job training. The organization currently operates out of Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, but has had issues renovating its new headquarters in one of Fort Totten’s landmarked buildings.
According to Jawin, renovations were originally estimated to cost the organization $500,000 and take a year, but have turned out to cost CWNY about $3 million before it is all said and done. Jawin said the biggest issue has been preserving the integrity of the landmarked building and overseeing requirements to make the facility handicap-accessible.
Jawin said Saturday’s walk was a major success. She added that while the group does not have the final figures, it raised more than last year and the event went smoothly despite the initial gloomy weather.
“We did much better than last year,” she said. “We’re very happy with it. We had a lot of fun. We enjoyed having the different sponsors there. The youngest was a 2-year-old all the way up to our senior citizens. We are really looking forward to next year. Everybody seemed to love it.”
Jawin said the walkathon was also an opportunity to introduce the organization and what it has to offer.
“There were people in the park who came by and didn’t know who we were and were interested in what we did,” she said. “We saw there was a tremendous amount of interest in the organization in the community, and we’re looking forward to occupying the building in Fort Totten and spreading our message.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart