The Compassionate Friends Walk to Remember® is a highlight of every TCF National Conference. It was created as a symbolic way to show the love we carry for the children we mourn. Held at 8 a.m. Sunday on the final day of the national conference it starts at the host hotel of the conference. There is an air of excitement and anticipation as everyone gathers in preparation for the start of the Walk. Finally the Walk begins and people walk hand- in-hand meditating on a much different time in their lives. Since its inception in 2000, the Walk to Remember has taken on many distinctive facets. There is the main Walk to Remember where those attending the conference join with local bereaved families and others who fly in from across the country just for the Walk. As many as 1400 have participated. Some go the full distance while others only walk a short way knowing that in participating, they are remembering. Special Walk to Remember T-shirts are given to all who register, as well as walk bibs where the names of the children being remembered can be written.
In conjunction with the main walk, we encourage people across the country to send in the names of the children for whom they grieve to be carried in the walk. These are printed on 8 1/2″ X 11″ sheets of paper, placed in sheet protectors and carried by volunteers. Last year, more than 15,000 names are estimated to have been carried by those participating in the Walk to Remember.
The Walk to Remember is also used as a major fundraiser to help support the work of The Compassionate Friends. Many participants seek pledges from friends, neighbors, and business acquaintances, turning in prior to the event the dollars they have raised.