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Syracuse/Atmore partnership is moving along'quickly

By By Laura Courson, Staff Writer
What do Syracuse, N.Y. and Atmore, Ala. have in common?
This year Atmore is getting attention from an awful lot of people in Syracuse, New York. The reason for all the attention? The Syracuse YMCA Folksmarch program.
The Folksmarch program has been going since October of 1981. The program is centered around encouraging people to get healthy through the exercise of walking.
This year the Folksmarch program decided to use the theme 365 days in 02 to encourage people to pledge to walk every day.
Upon shortening the title to 36502, the people involved in the Syracuse program realized the number looked a lot like a zip code. They decided to find the city corresponding with the zip code and set a goal for however many miles away that city was. The city turned out to be Atmore, which is 1246 miles from Syracuse (that's a 2492 mi. round trip).
This program got the attention of Atmore city officials and prompted Celia Lambert with the mayor's office and Terry Godwin with the Atmore YMCA to start an Atmore branch of the program.
In an effort to reach their respective "walking" destinations both factions have developed teams to help them reach their goals.
The city of Atmore has 11 teams: Atmore 1, Atmore 2, Bookmarchers, Faithwalkers, Friendship Club, Library Walkathoners, McKinley's, Pepsi, YMCA, United Bank, and First National Bank, plus one lone walker n Kathy McGill.
The Atmore teams had logged 4840 miles as of April 30. Atmore 2 has completed the most miles having walked 972.5 miles. First National Bank is second at a distant 592.5, and Pepsi is in third with 555 mi.
As of May 7, two Syracuse teams had reported being over 900 mi., and 81 percent of the teams reported traveling over 312 miles at that point.
Some members of the Syracuse teams are planning to visit Atmore on Oct. 25 this year for the William's Station Day activities (the festivities are Oct. 26). The city of Atmore will be glad to share one of its oldest traditions with some new friends.
For more information on the program call Celia Lambert at 368-2253.