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Hikers making stop in Atmore

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Three hikers raising money for the two Alabama children's hospitals will stop in Atmore March 14 at the old Ace Hardware building off of Hwy. 31 around 9:45 a.m.
Mark Byal, Brent Williams and Allen Knight are hiking 286 miles across the state for "Log-A-Load For Kids" in the "Miracle Miles" hike.
Byal, Williams and Knight will begin their journey at USA Children and Women's Hospital in Mobile on March 12, and will end at the Children's Hospital in Birmingham on March 23.
Byal, a volunteer for "Log-A-Load For Kids," is looking forward to the hike and said that the three men have been training intensely for the trek across Alabama.
"We're really excited and have trained really hard," Byal said. "It's a worthwhile cause and the hike is going to go well."
An RV will be traveling with the men to provide a place for them to rest but also employees from the children's hospitals will meet the men at different locations to gather donations.
"The RV will serve as a place for us to spend the night," Byal said. "We are also going to use it as a place to set up strategic locations to meet with the children's hospital employees and they will be accepting donations."
Wild Bunch Butt Burners and Pepsi are the Atmore sponsors for the 286-mile hike. John Swift, with Wild Bunch Butt Burners, said that anybody is welcome to come next Wednesday to the old Ace Hardware building.
"Anybody can come for sausage and Pepsi and to give a donation," Swift said.
The RV will be set up at the old Ace Hardware location and any donations given will be appreciated. Byal said that there are several different ways to give to this cause.
"People have given money by the miles," he said. "People are donating by the miles in their particular county or for the entire hike. We've also had people write a check for a specific amount. Any donations are welcome."
Byal also said that there will be banners placed on the RV and those who give a donation will be allowed to sign the banners.
"'Miracle Miles' and 'Log-A-Load' banners will be on the RV," he said. "People who donate can sign the banners. Those banners will be put in the children's hospitals for the kids to see."
Every penny raised by this hike goes to either USA Children and Women's Hospital in Mobile or the Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Byal said.
"One hundred percent of the money raised will go to the hospitals," he said. "Everything we raise goes to the kids."
"Log-A-Load for Kids" is a campaign sponsored statewide by the Alabama Loggers Council and the Alabama Forestry Association. The goal of the campaign is to bring together loggers, landowners, foresters and wood product manufacturers in an effort to help critically ill, injured and abused children of Alabama.
Byal said the hike was generated to touch lives and also to inform individuals about "Log-A-Load."
"We wanted to do something statewide and totally different," he said. "We want to touch hearts and let people know about the 'Log-A-Load' campaign."
For more information about "Log-A-Load for Kids" please visit www.logaloadforkids.org.