Walking for sickle cell

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 12, 2006

Walk-a-thon set Nov. 18

By Victor Inge

The Selma Times-Journal

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The Sickle Cell Association is looking for more teams to participate in their walk-a-thon, set for Nov. 18, and still needs a headliner to serve as the event’s entertainment.

Starting and ending up at historic Ralph S. Jordan Memorial Stadium, the event promises family fun, food and entertainment. Sponsored by Alagasco, organizers said they need more local talent to sign up as entertainment.

“This is our second year and we’re trying to build this event into a major fundraiser,” said Margaret Bolling, Sickle Cell executive director. “We have volunteer team captains at various industries around town and throughout the area. They’re all competing for a number of prizes.”

There will be several awards given, and it’s not too late to sign up. One is for the team that raises the most money. One is for the team with the most walking members.

Team captains are asked to raise at least $500, and can come up with it any way they wish. This is different from the traditional walk-a-thon pledge format, where supporters pledge an amount per mile walked by a participant.

This is where the Sickle Cell Association Walk-A-Thon differs. There is no 18-mile hike. The route is 3.1 miles, which organizers hope will attract more walkers. Registration for individuals is $20 for adults, and $12 for youth 18 and under. All the proceeds go to help provide services for persons in the nine-county service delivery area with Sickle Cell Anemia, Bolling said.

Joe Hampton, honorary chair and Alagasco’s Selma division manager, encourages other companies to get involved.

“Sickle Cell Anemia is a disease that affects many who live in our area, and we felt this is a worthwhile endeavor,” Hampton said. “We’re asking not only the corporations to get involved, but the civic and greek lettered organizations as well. We want to make this a community event.”

In addition to Alagasco, R.L. Zeigler in Selma has agreed to donate the hot dogs. Each participant will receive a T-shirt.

There is still time to pre-register and walk-up registration will be available at 8 a.m. the morning of the walk. Stretch time follows registration and the walk begins at 9 a.m. Following the walk, a grilled lunch and entertainment will wrap up activities.

The Sickle Cell Association has more than 150 clients and the list will increase as Bolling said her organization is taking on additional counties to include Dallas, Perry, Wilcox, Marengo, Bibb, Chilton and Coosa.

For more information call 872-9362 or (800) 704-9068.