Many communities do a "Life Chain" on the first Sunday of October but in Smithers, BC, it has been adapted into a "Walk for Life" on the first Saturday in October. This is still part of the national campaign but there are two reasons for the localised flavor. The participation for the one hour in the fall along the highway had become minimal; it was always too cold and the one hour felt like forever. We are still in a small community where a lot of businesses are closed on Sunday; there is minimal traffic except those going to church.
By changing the 'chain' into a 'walk' we stay warm since we are moving. And by changing from Sunday to Saturday, our message has a lot more exposure. Another advantage of the walk is that the 3.5 kilometres takes the participants along the full length of main street, allows us to stand at the highway as we wait for everyone to cross safely, takes us past the farmer's market and gives us the opportunity to have a prayerful vigil in front of the hospital before we return to the starting point, the St. Joe's parish parking lot.
Our October newsletter had already been printed before the "walk" so a picture is included in this article.