BAY RIDGE — It will be a milestone quarter century anniversary for the Bay Ridge Center’s annual “March for Meals” walkathon this year, as the organization continues to raise awareness and funds for its home-delivered meals program in Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend.
This year’s event, which will take place on Saturday, March 28, will be extra special as it is being held in memory of beloved community leader Larry Morrish, with his widow Phillipa Morrish serving as the honorary grand marshal.
It was four years ago on Feb. 8, 2016 that Bay Ridge and Brooklyn as a whole lost a much-loved community leader who left behind a rich legacy of civic leadership that stretched back over 40 years. He did it all — from organizing parades to promoting goodwill and brotherhood within diverse religious groups and organizations in the community. He was also a columnist for this newspaper.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer eulogized Morrish, calling him “the beating heart of Bay Ridge.”
Phillipa said she was delighted to be the honorary grand marshal. “This is a nod to the memory of Larry, by acknowledging a prominent contributor of the Walkathon’s past, whose life also embraced the community service motto of Meals on Wheels,” Phillipa told this paper.
“Every year, Larry would participate in the walkathon with friends who included Peter Killen and others, encouraging community leaders, businesses and the public to part with their dollars for the program. I have no doubt that Larry’s presence will be there on the 28th,” Phillipa added.
Bay Ridge Center feeds over 650 seniors a day, seven days a week, explained Todd Fliedner, the center’s deputy executive director. This number is up from five years ago, when only 400 residents received meals each day.
“Home-delivered meals are important on so many different levels,” said Fliedner. “Oftentimes, the Meals on Wheels service is the only contact with the outside world these residents will receive. Drivers will check in to ensure that their clients are safe and healthy, with some drivers even coming to the rescue of their clients in some instances, according to Fliedner.
There will be a kickoff ceremony at 10:30 a.m., followed by a three-mile march that will travel along Third and Fifth avenues, beginning and ending at the Bay Ridge Center, 411 Ovington Ave.