June 29, 2011 Edition

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Annual Walk of Hope held

BENEFIT WALK HELD AT LAKE CHARLES ~ Walk of Hope co-founders Claudia Wheeless (left) and Carolyn Fowler speak at the ninth annual Lawrence County Walk of Hope held Saturday at Lake Charles State Park. Approximately 80 walkers participated in the fund-raiser to benefit cancer patients in Lawrence County and the American Cancer Society
TD Photo ~ John Bland
John Bland

Approximately 80 people walked in the ninth annual Lawrence County Walk of Hope held Saturday morning at Lake Charles State Park.

"It was really good," said Claudia Wheeless, one of the organizers and co-founders of the event, along with Carolyn Fowler. "I was just tickled to death over it," she added.

The walk had previously been scheduled in the spring but was cancelled due the the widespread area flooding.

Diana Shelton, member of the organization, said the turnout was good for such a warm morning.

Wheeless did not yet have a total of funds raised as donations are still coming in. "We are so thankful to everybody who walked and supported us," she said.

Kathy Dobbs of Hoxie served as grand marshal of the walk. Her name was drawn from the group of cancer survivors who had signed up for the walk.

Kevin Roberts gave the prayer prior to the start of the walk. Bagpipers and a drummer from the Northeast Arkansas Caledonians provided music and led the walk. Present from that group were Alicia native David Corbett of Marion, Danny Vaughn of Hoxie, Laura Wieczorek of Jonesboro and Derek Reed of Bono.

Jackie Wallis, an area community representative for the American Cancer Society, was also present for the walk.

After the walk and a moment of silence, a group of balloons was released in memory of deceased cancer patients. Another group of balloons was then released to honor cancer survivors.

Having now completed nine years, organizers are hoping for a big and successful 10th year Walk of Hope. That event will be scheduled in the fall of 2012, said Wheeless.

Lawrence County Walk of Hope is a local organization made up of volunteers who work to raise awareness and money for cancer patients in Lawrence County. The majority of funds raised go to Lawrence County cancer patients with a percentage donated to the American Cancer Society to fund cancer research.

More volunteers are always welcome to join this group to help cancer patients and their families in Lawrence County.

For more information or for assistance, call Fowler at 886-7602 or Wheeless at 870-797-4288.

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