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Purposeful stride

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By Cheri Harris

Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young took a bold step early Friday morning — and another, and another — 34 miles’ worth, from Chattahoochee on the western border to Midway on the eastern side.

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Wearing a hot pink shirt that on the back identified him as the sheriff, he walked to bring attention to male breast cancer during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Supporters joined him, most going only a portion of the way.

When the sheriff and the other walkers passed through Quincy, a number of people stopped to wave and cheer them on. 

Gadsden County Election Supervisor Shirley Knight was one.

It means a lot for people to be aware of what’s going on in the community with breast cancer,” she said, “so anyone that’s supporting breast cancer, it means a lot to me.”

Aaron Kissler, administrator of Gadsden County’s health department, joined the sheriff on part of his walk, as did his wife, Jennifer.

Kissler said the walk was an important opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of testing and early detection.

He also praised the sheriff, who has lost about 33 pounds since July through diet and exercise changes, for sharing that as well because it “sends a good message to folks that they can do some of the same things in their lives. I thought it was pretty impressive.” 

Shanda Wright, who is chairing Gadsden County’s Relay for Life in 2014, said she met the sheriff in Chattahoochee about 5:30 a.m. before he started walking to support him because she couldn’t walk with him because she had to go to work at Stewart Street Elementary School.

“I think it went very well,” she said of the walk. “From what people have told me and all the different pictures I’ve seen on Facebook, I think everybody was super-excited about it, and people have said they hope it becomes an annual event and I’m very supportive of it.”

At the end of the walk about 6 p.m. Friday, Young told those present that during his walk across the county, he thought about a lot of things that plague this county.

“We need to pray for Gadsden County.”

Times Executive Editor Cheri Harris can be reached at 850-627-7649 or editor@gadcotimes.com.