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Arthritis Walk a big hit

The weather was perfect for the Fourth Annual Chilton County Arthritis Walk yesterday morning.

Groups of enthusiastic walkers lined up outside Chilton Medical Center for the 1-mile and 3-mile walks. Among the oldest of participants was Elvie Jackson, 80, whose family members brought “Go Granny” flags in her support.

First to return from the 1-mile walk was Leah Easterling, and the crowd cheered on Affie Lee Martin, 63, as she jogged to the finish to capture the 3-mile title.

Martin said she goes to the gym pretty regularly.

“I’ve just been blessed with good health,” she said, adding that her mother lived to be 100.

“I guess I’ve got good genes,” she said.

Two participants brought their dogs to support animals with arthritis. These were Savannah Swindle, bringing Bucky; and Richard Ellison, bringing his dog Shelley.

Just for fun, the dogs competed in tail wagging, shortest leg, and owner look-alike competitions.

A crowd of 100-plus people turned out for the event, which has grown in size each year.

Initial totals indicated more than $20,000 was raised by local volunteers toward the Arthritis Foundation. The exact amounts of teams and money raised were unavailable but will be announced at a later date.

Money raised from all Walks go toward public health education, patient and community services, research, professional education, and a small percentage toward the costs associated with running the foundation.