The 32nd annual Freeze for Food run and walk will be held Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Vilas Park ice rink shelter. This year, the event will raise money for the residents of San José de Apartadó in Colombia.
The residents there have responded to their country's violence by declaring themselves a nonviolent community and banning any guns, says Jack Laun, who helped plan the event. Freeze for Food is organized by the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Madison.
"It's a small community of peasant farmers, basically," Laun says of San Jose. "And they're in an area of very high conflict. And about 16 years ago, they declared themselves a peace community. That means they don't allow any arms in the community."
That hasn't always been easy. When the Colombian army set up a base in the community a few years ago, the residents picked up and moved their town, Laun says.
All of the money raised in the run/walk will go toward food or food production. "The first money they got [from Madison] they used to raise two cows," Laun says. "Now they have a herd of cows."
The residents are now trying to raise money for machinery that can process cacao in order to produce chocolate. Some money may also be used to feed visitors who come to the town for training on nonviolent living.
It costs $15 to register for the event, which includes a 5K walk/run, which starts at noon, and a 10K run, which starts at 1 p.m.