Women of Distinction

Dozens participate in group’s 14th annual cancer walk

More than 50 people eventually arrived to take part in the walk.

News Staff Writer

More than 50 people — a mixed group of mostly women that also featured several men and a few children — turned out for this year’s Women of Distinction Cancer Awareness Walk, the 14th year in a row the group has held the event.
“We’ve been doing this since 2009,” explained Chasity Brown, a member for three years and currently the group’s president. “We do it to raise awareness of breast cancer and to raise money to buy gas cards for people in our community to get back and forth to the doctor for their treatments.”
Brown was pleased with the turnout, although she wished more people would take part in the cancer-awareness foot parade, which started at Atmore City Hall and carried into Houston Avery Park. She was also pleased that a half-dozen or so males participated in the walk.
“We’ve got another good turnout,” she said as the walk’s 10 a.m. starting time approached. “We’re glad to see the men out here. They take part every year; it’s good to have them with us. They each have also lost friends and loved ones to breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, just cancer in general.”
Former WOD President Yolanda Webster, now the group’s vice president, said future events should draw more of a crowd, since they wouldn’t be competing with the community’s annual Williams Station Day celebration.
“There’s a lot going on, with today being Williams Station Day,” she said. “We have decided to have the walk on the second Saturday in October every year forward.”
At least four youngsters got an early view of the walk and its purpose. Two 3-year-old girls — one being carried and one in a stroller — and a set of stroller-borne 7-month-old twins were part of the parade.
As the walkers chatted and stretched their muscles for the upcoming walk, they noticed that the cool temperatures of the morning were fast fading away.
“It’s sure nice and warm,” Leigh Ikner said. “Maybe it will be a little cooler when we get on the shady streets.”
Webster made a veiled mention of the weather and its possible effect on some of the more senior participants in her pre-walk prayer, as well as a reminder that regular checkups are a major part of fighting cancer.
“We ask that you touch our bodies as we walk on this journey, give us strength to make it through to the end,” she prayed. “Give us the wisdom, the guidance, the knowledge we need to go every year and have annual checkups.”
The group then headed off on its trek to Houston Avery, with Atmore police officer Gordon Brooks leading the way in an APD cruiser.