The New Milford community once again rose to the challenge Sunday of helping those in need.

An estimated 250 residents walked a five-kilometer course around town in support of a fundraising drive to aid those unable to heat their homes.

Proceeds from "Cold Homes, Warm Hearts" will benefit those who are helped by the town's fuel bank.

The event was co-hosted by New Milford Social Services, the New Milford Senior Center and New Milford Parks & Recreation.

"For a first-time event, organized in little more than two months," reflected Peg Molina, the Social Services director, "we were thrilled with the turnout.

"It was an upbeat, fun crowd who all seemed to be there because they wanted to help a good, local cause," she added.

It wasn't just the pack of walkers of all ages who helped out.

"The response to our request for sponsor support from local fuel vendors was fantastic as well," concluded Ms. Molina. "Extra special thanks to All American Waste and ABC Fuel, our top supporters."

Ms. Molina noted contributions are still needed and "gladly accepted." Checks may be made payable to the Community Fuel Bank and mailed to New Milford Social Services, 40 Main St., New Milford, CT 06776.

For more information, call New Milford Social Services at 860-355-6079.

-- Norm Cummings