Walk’s turnout was truly inspiring

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Upon waking up Saturday morning, I noticed that the skies were grey and it was drizzling outside. I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder if they will postpone the Walk to the Park.”

For those who are unfamiliar with this event, the local community service group, the Women of Distinction, hold the “Walk to the Park” each year. Walkers pay a small fee to participate in the walk, and those proceeds then go to help purchase gas cards for local cancer patients who need help with the cost of traveling to and from treatments.

I was very surprised to see the turnout Saturday at the YMCA, even in the face of the dreary weather. There were probably anywhere between 80 to 100 people, many of them families and businesses who had chosen to walk together. They were all there for the same cause, to do what they could to fight the scourge of cancer.

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I have an aunt who is fighting breast cancer, so I felt a personal sense of pride to see how strong our community was Saturday. When organizers asked the walkers if they wanted to do the walk inside, it was inspiring to hear how loudly and quickly they responded “no.” I won’t pretend to assume I know what they were thinking, but I bet it was something like: “My family member or friend has undergone years of fighting this horrible disease. The least I can do for them is deal with getting wet from a few raindrops.”

It was a beautiful and inspiring event, and I’m glad I got the chance to witness it.

• I’m also anxious to experience my first Williams Station Day in Atmore this weekend. Although I am still very new to this area, I am not new to living in small towns. My previous hometown, Bainbridge, had its annual “River Town Days” festival in May and it was always a wonderful experience. I have no doubt that Williams Station Day will be just as enjoyable.

I have a lot of friends who graduated college and went on to work in large cities, like Atlanta or Chicago. They are always quick to ask me why I enjoy living in small towns so much. “There’s nothing to do,” or “You’ll never get any privacy,” are two of their common arguments. My retort is that small towns are friendly and have plenty to offer, if you’re willing to give them a try. One of the great things they offer are festivals like Williams Station Day, and I plan to soak up as much of the experience as I can.


Justin Schuver is the publisher and editor of The Atmore Advance. You can email him at justin.schuver@