Saint Anselm student walk 130 miles for this year’s Road for Hope


Courtesy/Tom Canuel

The 2021 Road for Hope walkers after arriving to campus

James Tweneh, Crier Staff

If someone or anyone asked you what your plans are for the summer, and you responded with, “I’m walking 130 miles from Maine to New Hampshire in 8 days,” imagine the responses you would be receiving. Such as, “What in the world are you thinking,” or, “That seems a little risky. I don’t think I could handle that challenge.” These were the exact responses I and 45 other walkers had received when we were about to embark on this 8-day, 130-mile journey from Lewiston, Maine all the way back home to the Hilltop. 

This journey is called, “Road for Hope.” The Road for Hope began on August 14 in Lewiston, ME. The group of walkers walked from Lewiston, Maine to Grey, Maine on day one. The walkers stopped for the proceeding days in Standish, Waterboro, and Sanford in Maine and Rochester, Northwood, Candia, and finally Manchester in New Hampshire. The 130 mile walk was complete when the 43 walkers arrived on August 21 to the Hilltop, where a large crowd on Saturday, August 21st at 2:30 pm was waiting along with Alumni Hall for their homecoming. 

Riley Casey, class of 2015, is a Road for Hope alum and a facilitator for the Road for Hope. She described this event as an “eight-day, 130-mile pilgrimage that raises money for nine different local charities.” 

Casey stated that this walk began in 1999 by a freshman at the time, now a priest for the Diocese of Portland, ME, Seamus Griesbach. Griesbach walked from Maine to St. As before his freshman year began at the college along with his brother and the family dog. Soon after, the group of three turned into a group of 30 friends that decided to walk for charity after being intrigued by Seamus’ walk. This small walk would be later known as Road for Hope. 

When asked about the group of walkers this year, Casey stated, “We are kind of starting off fresh off with our leader group and this group of walkers who are walking for the first time. It also gave the leaders the opportunity to make it the experience that they wanted it to be. ” 

Last year, the entire journey of Road for Hope was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Walkers last year walked around the Saint Anselm campus, which left the walkers this year with a new experience. 

When asked about the fears she had this year about the walk, Casey said, “My fear is the unknown, especially if you haven’t done it before. However, I have learned through this program the importance of the power of simplicity, and putting one after the other while being on the road. And, being present in the moment whether you’re walking side by side or single file on the road and giving up control.” 

This year’s group raised a total of $32,800. This money was raised by each participant as a result of fundraising efforts and donations from family, friends, and faculty. Casey said, “Some of that money needs to go out to cover expenses, such as the vans, the bus, and other food, but we then divide the money donated to the nine charities, in which each charity will receive $2,500.”

Anthony Castango, class of 2022, walked Road for Hope for the first time this year. When asked why he wanted to walk Road For Hope, Castango said, “I got involved to help charity but also, it is such a unique thing to walk 130 miles for charity. I also wanted walk for a physical, mental, and spiritual challenge. Road for Hope has accomplished those aspects of challenging yourself in all 3 things. And, having good conversations is just the plus.” 

When I asked what he was feeling going into the walk and after, Castango said, “I went into this thinking that I am a fit guy and I thought that it was going to be hard. And, in fact it was physically, and mentally challenging. But I was happy I got challenged that way and that the road taught me how to be resilient.”

I also walked the Road for Hope and, in my opinion, it was one of the most inspirational, challenging things that I had ever done in my life. I am forever grateful for the friendships and bonds that I have made and I will forever cherish those memories in my own heart.

If you want to know more about Road for Hope and how to sign-up for 2022, visit the Office of Campus Ministry or email Riley Casey.

Kiara and Jamie Kask arriving on campus at the end of Road for Hope (Courtesy/Tom Canuel)