When Walk My Way volunteer Julie Slaghekke agreed to coordinate breakfast for this year’s Barossa Valley event, she thought ALWS organisers were overestimating how many people would take part.

‘When they said, “I think we’re going to have 600 walkers”, I thought, “No you’re not; you couldn’t possibly have that many”’, Julie, pictured, says.

Ultimately there were 650 registered participants, along with volunteers who would need sustenance. That meant sourcing food for 700 COVID-compliant breakfast boxes while utilising promised donations.

Julie, who has a small catering business and helped to coordinate the LCA’s Longest Lutheran Lunch project, baked 700 muffins and made 700 muesli balls. Together with Julie Krause, an ALWS community action officer, Julie made yoghurt granola berry pots for the breakfast boxes and added fresh fruit, breadsticks, mini kransky sausages, cheese, dried fruit, nuts and fruit juice. The two Julies were supported by student volunteers from Redeemer Lutheran School Nuriootpa and teams of adult helpers.

‘It’s amazing; 650 people chose to give up their Saturday to go for a walk and raise money for ALWS. That’s mind-blowing’, Julie Slaghekke says. ‘The other thing that was astounding was the level of support in the Barossa – from the churches, individuals, businesses and the community, who chipped in and said, “We’ll help with that and we’ll donate this”. It was inspiring.

‘It was a great team effort, too, and nice to be a part of a bigger ideal.’

For Julie, a member of Our Saviour Aberfoyle Park in suburban Adelaide, her faith is a ‘huge’ motivation for volunteering. ‘I think that’s what we are here on this earth to do’, she says. ‘We’ve all been given something to offer, and it gives you so much enjoyment when you use your gifts in a way that helps others.’

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