Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Walk The Walk

Feom rhe Capital-Gazette

Things are usually peaceful and quiet on the Garden family farm in Davidsonville.
Owner Richard Garden, an oral surgeon, has made the 50-acre farm self-sustaining by raising chickens and heritage-breed pigs and selling their pasture-raised, non-GMO products. The farm is also the current home base for Eco-Goats, a large herd of goats used to economically and ecologically clear overgrown land of unwanted or invasive plants by simply eating them.

Generally, the only excitement comes when the Integrity Lacrosse Team, of which Garden's daughters are members, comes to practice and play. Garden keeps two flat fields mowed and ready for the team. Recently, that excitement ramped up with the arrival of a huge, colorful trailer loaded with backpacks and school supplies, followed by team members, their families and friends, dental practitioners and their families and friends, friends of friends, and volunteers from the Walk the Walk Foundation (WTWF).
WTWF is a local nonprofit, organized to help Anne Arundel County schoolchildren who can't afford the school supplies. For each fundraising event, WTWF buys the supplies in bulk, fills the trailer and brings it to the event location. For a $30 donation, the donors are given the name of a needy student and an empty backpack. The donor then goes through the trailer, filling the backpack with the supplies. At this event, the Integrity team members did the filling. WTWF then delivers the backpacks to students.
Mary Picirilli, whose daughter is also on the Integrity Team, and her husband, Mark, organized the WTWF event.

"The event was a huge success," Picirilli said. "Nearly the entire Integrity Club showed up. We were able to have 210 backpacks donated in just 2 1/2 hours - most events generate 50 to 100 at best."
WTWF is completely philanthropic, Garden said. She said 100 percent of the donations goes to the backpacks.
"I think they also do a toy drive for Christmas, which I'm sure Integrity will get involved with and we'll probably have it here in the fall. They hopped on the truck, they did what they needed to do, and they had fun. We're very lucky."
For more information on the Walk the Walk Foundation, visit

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