Eighth annual Virgil Wells Cancer Walk/Run a big success

First thoughts of the Virgil Wells Cancer Walk/Run were that there wouldn’t be many participants this year, but that was at 6 o’clock a.m. Wallace Bradley, the walk’s manager, remained calm and assured the committee that there was nothing to worry about.

“They’re coming,” he said.

He was correct, again! By 6:30, photographer and committee member Leo Bonaparte was busy capturing great pictures, the registration table was busy, coffee was brewing, juice was pouring and the platters of fruit and Danish were almost empty. Walkers were called to the outside at 7 a.m. sharp and lead in warm-up exercises by our own Chief Danny Watson.

The Virgil Wells Cancer Walk/Run is a great time for reflecting on the past and contributing to the future all at once. Participants enter the Hall of Fame on Jessamine Street in Darlington and immediately greet old friends that they may have missed over the years. They share old stories from the Mayo days where they were a part of Coach Wells’ physical education classes, football team, basketball team and all the other activities that he was dedicated to in and around the City of Darlington.

“Coming back for this event every year is the least we can do. Coach Wells has done so much for so many that, if this walk was held twice, three or even four times a year we would not have done enough,” said George Ervin, event timer and committee member.

Cancer is so prevalent in our community and the more the community gives to events like these, the better the chance that lives will be saved. We can’t thank Beth and the American Cancer Society enough for the literature and door prizes donated each year. Each year the Society, along with the Darlington Cemetery, are awarded a small token to support what they do for our community here in Darlington.

Special recognition went out to local politicians who were present. Mayor Gloria Hines, Representatives Robert Williams and Darlington City Councilmember Carolyn Bruce; all were present to support the cause.
Community support from great families is a key component to the annual walk. This year, the committee honored Mr. Elijah “Blue” Pearson, a longtime outstanding Mayo High School athlete. Mr. Pearson’s family came out in numbers to support the walk and was presented an award in his memory.

The committee was grateful for the support this year and looks forward to seeing greater numbers next Oct. for the 9th annual Virgil Wells Cancer Walk/Run.

Author: Duane Childers

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