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‘Pathway to education’

The Friends of Dogwood Lakes (FODL) are hosting the first annual walk-a-thon to raise funds for Holmes County’s accelerated reading programs.

The event is the brainchild of Holmes County Commissioner Jeff Good, who came up with the idea when he was on a walk with his dog, Scooby. When the event became larger than Good expected, he handed the reins over to FODL.

FODL co-founder Susan Spencer says the organization is excited to handle the event, which has grown even more under its steerage.

“We try to do things in service to the community,” said Spencer. “We were in a position to help with the walk-a-thon and so we are.”

The day of the walk-a-thon as the walkers make their way around the track there will be many different activities, games and rides available for those who aren’t walking. There will also be food vendors, businesses, churches and civic organizations on hand. 

Everyone is invited to walk or just enjoy the festivities.

A $10,000 goal has been set for the event, with all the proceeds to be split between the six schools in the district. Good says he is excited about raising the funds for the teachers and students.

“I have the utmost respect for teachers and what they do,” said Good. “I want to help them in the most sustainable way possible. This is the perfect event for the perfect reason.”

FODL issued the “Jeff Good Challenge,” which calls for participants to walk 26.2 miles on the day of the event. As of press time Tuesday, only four individuals had signed on for the challenge: Jeff Good, Rickey Thompson, Jerry Newman and Roger Brooks. 

Good says he hopes to walk the distance in 10 hours. “Me and Scooby have been walking every day to prepare for the challenge,” said Good. “If only one kid learns to read because of this walk-a-thon, then it is all worthwhile.”

Spencer says she believes seeing the people walk the 26.2 miles will be influential to the children who see them. “When the children see them taking on the challenge of such a large task, I believe it will be a good influence on them. They will see those adults reaching for a goal and they will know they can do it, too.”

The walk-a-thon will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Bonifay Recreational Center. The last two hours of the event will be a “rock and glow walk.”

For more information on sponsoring or being a vendor, call Tonya Lightfoot at 253-254-9825. To register for the walk, visit myevent.com/advancedreadingbonifay.

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