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Hike for Humanity events coming up this weekend in Unalaska

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KUCB's Vic Fisher talked with Phill Toney from the Unalaska Department of Public Safety about the upcoming Hike for Humanity event in Unalaska.

This interview originally aired on KUCB on Oct. 6, 2021.  It has been edited for length and clarity.

Phill Toney: We're doing the Hike for Humanity event, which is part of the Faith & Blue weekend. Faith & Blue was started in Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago. The purpose of that organization was to kind of bridge the gap between the community and the police station. The idea behind it is that in those particular communities where it started, interactions with the police tended to be more on the negative side. Interactions with their local churches tended to be more on the positive side. So by going through those local church organizations, they were able to kind of again, bridge that gap, build those positive relationships with those police departments, through community events of the Faith & Blue weekend.

Over the last few years, they've tried to expand that out nationally. And so this year we're honored to be a part of it. The idea behind the Hike for Humanity event that we're doing is to have some of those crucial conversations and to be able to offer that ability for the community to interact with the police department in a positive way. So we've partnered with some of the local churches and we've partnered with the PCR to try to get out there and offer that opportunity.

KUCB: You are actually going on hikes, right? And the event spans several days?

Toney: Yep. It'll be this coming weekend, Oct. 8th through the 10th. We're going to kick off the weekend with a night hike up the back of Ballyhoo, up the road to the bunkers. We're hoping to try to catch the sunset up there. That hike will be leaving sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. We'll be posting meeting spots and all that kind of stuff on our Facebook page later this week.

Then on Saturday, we've got four different hikes planned. And Sunday, we've got three hikes planned. So essentially, you know, people would be able to go on three hikes throughout the weekend if they really wanted to, or you could just join us for one on whatever day and time works best.

On each of these hikes, the hope and the goal on our end is that there will be at least one person from public safety and then at least one member of a local faith organization. They'll kind of be leading the hike and then members of the community will join them.

KUCB: And I know that you mentioned to me offline that there will be a chance for people to donate to the Faith & Blue organization, right?

Toney: The funding can be done through the PCR or up at the station. All of the money that's donated will end up going into a fund to help do some community service projects.

KUCB: So you're listening to KUCB at 99.7 FM in Unalaska. In the studio, I have guest, Phill Toney. He's with Unalaska Public Safety and we are talking about Faith & Blue weekend. Phil, I have a question for you. What about weather contingencies?

Toney: Unfortunately, with the reality of where we are with COVID and everything, it limited us in our ability to do anything inside. We had tons of ideas of things that we could do that just at this point in time aren't really realistic. So we are doing an outdoor event and we're also right at that point in the year where weather can go either way. The way we're looking at it is one of those rain or shine type things. So it's not necessarily going to be dependent on the weather as to whether we go or not, it probably will impact the amount of people that come out, unfortunately.

We're actually, as of the last time I checked, one of only three Faith & Blue events in the whole state of Alaska. So, you know, it's kind of cool that we’re over 1000 miles off the coast of mainland Alaska and we're having one of the few events that's even being offered in the state. I think that that says something about the direction that we're trying to head as a community.