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The 2001 Walk

©01 The Media Desk

Make sure you check out the PICTURES!

         Well, some people Ran. Some jogged. A few strolled slowly. There were even a couple on bicycles with two-way radios. But for the most part. They walked.
         Even the Desk walked. Well, from the coffee table to the bathroom and back.

         The RAVEN had a group walking for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica. Seven of the Officers and Crew of the local IFT ship walked, one stayed back and observed... and it did it very well too, thank you.

         The idea was to raise money for the March of Dimes campaign for healthy babies. The MoD people had managed to set up a real nice spread on Dover's Legislative Mall with music and food and lots of bottled water for everybody. About two hundred and fifty walkers showed up on a Saturday Morning to make the 2.5 mile circuit of the downtown.

         Reality Jolt... the Delaware State University Cheerleaders dancing the Boot Scoot Boogie... OK, no problem. For those of you that have never heard of DSU, it is Delaware's answer to Grambling and Southern University. To see their 'Dance Team' stepping to a Country Song takes seeing to believe. But they did it, and did it nicely too. Better than the Desk could ever do.

         You never have a camera when you need one. The Desk got tied up at work before running out to the Walk and didn't have time to collect its supplies. Namely a notebook that wasn't all chewed up, and a camera. But... We Are Professionals! We make due with what we've got.
         Translation, steal somebody else's camera. Or at least cop off with their pictures.

         The lead motivator of the Delaware Healthy Kids outfit got most of the crowd moving and dancing and warming up with exercises that weren't too painful. At least they didn't look painful. Then the cheerleaders sang the national anthem. How was their singing? Did the Desk mention that they are an excellent dance team?

         The Amateur Radio Emergency Services group was running the communications for the Walk. Something like 13 volunteers with some serious radio equipment monitored the checkpoints and patrolled the route making sure everybody made it, and if help was needed, the ambulance sitting by the stage could be dispatched at a moment's notice. Mr. Jerry Palmer, one of the hardcore Amateur Radio guys talked enthusiastically about backup batteries, backup radios, even backup Amateurs, 'just in case'. They even had a spare battery for the high-end unit in the ambulance in case it's battery went dead. The two guys riding around the route on bicycles with fifteen feet of antenna waving over their head ensured that people that elected to walk the circuit a second time to get their five miles in had the same amount of security as the first timers. The Delaware Amateur Radioers help out during everything from Hurricanes to Triathlons. The most effective way to ensure that nothing goes wrong is to have everybody in touch with everybody else through the entire event. And with their equipment, they do a very good job. And these kinds of events are kind of a practice run for more serious happenings, like natural disasters and public safety emergencies.

         "Four. Three. Two..."
         The Cheerleaders did the countdown to the starting boat whistle. But the City of Dover Motorcycle Policeman was already halfway down the block and the Walkers were following him. Oh well.

         The parade of walkers was something to see in and of itself. The RAVEN's crew was a good example. They had Anestel the Fox, a puppet, and Taffy the Dog... a dog, walking with them. Other groups had babies in strollers or small kids on training wheeled bikes. It took a few minutes for everybody to get moving, around the corner in front of the Capitol Building, and down the street.

         The first two runners were back in just over fifteen minutes. Not bad for two and a half miles. They were healthy enough (we're being kind here) to go around again.

         Ensign Beth, of the RAVEN crew, in her ten year old enthusiasm, came in about sixth. She ran most of the way and stayed with the semi-pro roadrunners.
         The rest of the RAVEN's people, neither as enthusiastic or as healthy as Beth, trickled in more or less in the middle of the pack.
         As they made the last couple of blocks from in front of the Visitor Center they were treated to morale boosting music like the 'Rocky' theme. The Desk suggested an AC/DC song about a highway to someplace, but the MC didn't think that would be very well received.

         Most of the walkers were back and lined up for free hotdogs and drinks supplied by Chesapeake Utilities, the State Credit Union and a few other sponsors.
         They kept saying Some Guy brought the bagels.
         "Who donated the bagels?" The Desk asked.
         "Some Guys Bagels."
         "Which guy's bagels?"
         Oh well. It must be like one of those songs by The Who.
         "Who sang 'Magic Bus'?
         "It was Yes?"


         The RAVEN raised something like Two hundred and seventy dollars for the March of Dimes. Not a bad day's effort all in all.


         The Next RAVEN charity event is the Relay for Life. Sometime in June. This one involves staying up all night watching other people walk around a track listening to Yanni Music or something for the Cancer Society.
         The Desk shall be there!

         See the RAVEN Web Page HERE! for more info.


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