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Links host annual walk-a-thon at Memorial Stadium

The Selma chapter of The Links, Inc. got a crowd of about 200 people out to their 22nd annual walk-a-thon on Saturday morning at Memorial Stadium.

The walk-a-thon is a national initiative of the The Links Inc., according to the Selma chapter president Charlotte Griffeth.

“This is the 22nd year that the Selma chapter has implemented this program here in this city to raise awareness of the health disparities in this county and hopefully get citizens to become more health conscious,” Griffeth said.

The event kicked-off at 8 a.m. when cheerleaders from Southside High School, the School of Discovery, R.B. Hudson Middle, Tipton Middle and Clark Elementary helped the early-risers get motivated for their morning exercise.

“Each school led cheers and got the group excited about walking,” Griffeth said.

Selma’s mayor Darrio Melton served as the grand marshal of the walk-a-thon and new Selma City Schools superintendent  Avis Williams came out to show her support as well.

Before the group started walking, the Selma chapter led everyone in a warm-up with a variety of songs and dances. After the musical warm-up, everyone started making their laps around the track.

In addition to the walk, the Selma chapter setup health stations under tents at midfield to provide information for the walkers. They handed out literature about health risks and offered blood pressure tests.

The purpose of the Walk-A-Thon, and the Selma chapter’s other health initiatives, is to highlight the serious health concerns that affect Dallas County.

“The on-going movement to have events like this to raise health awareness is imperative for us,” Griffeth said. “We’ve got obesity, childhood obesity, our infant mortality rate is high and mental illness. We have a plethora of things we need to address… and most of them we can control with just exercise.”

The Walk-A-Thon is just one of the many events that the Selma chapter of The Links, Inc. puts on in Selma.

The group donates the proceeds from the Walk-A-Thon go to the BOSCO soup kitchen every year. The organization also does voter registration awareness, STEM in schools and they donate to disaster relief efforts, according to Griffeth.

“We are a non-profit that is on the move,” she said. “We do a lot in the community, and people know us by what we do.”