By Jeff Dennis
The Edisto Belles group was founded ten years ago to raise awareness about early detection of breast cancer, and to form a support group for women at Edisto Island. Their annual Beach Walk fundraiser was held on September 4, and the event enjoyed perfect walking weather to start off the Labor Day weekend. A venue change for 2021 had the group and its supporters meet at the beachfront Cabana owned by Wyndham Resorts, which also served as the Start and Finish Line for the fifty-eight walkers who turned out at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
The golden rays of early sunlight illuminated the sand in the dunes, with a light breeze causing the sea oats to dance, while pelicans flew overhead. “This is an amazing venue for our walk this year, right here on front beach,” said Motte Parker, founder of Edisto Belles. “We have traditionally used a beach house on the second row for this event, but when that house was not available this year, Wyndham offered us their Cabana and we are very grateful. Our walk will go from here at Beach Access 20 down to the 600 block, and then back. And we want to welcome Mayor Pro Tem Crawford Moore and his wife Janice this morning.”
“The Belles Beach Walk is a real special event here at Edisto Beach, and this is a great morning for it,” said Crawford. “The Town of Edisto Beach is glad to offer our support, and one of our beach patrol UTV’s will be on station this morning in case anyone requires assistance.
“I truly believe that every family is touched by cancer in one way or another, and events like this are important to raise awareness about finding a cure for this disease, and to keep giving people hope.”
Belles Beach Walk organizer Sue Wooten is a tireless volunteer when it comes to getting the word out for this annual event. She did an interview with Parker on the News Channel Two Midday Program, rented billboards in Jacksonboro, and used social media to get the word out. “The event begins at 9 a.m. and includes time for those who want to register the morning of the race for $20 dollars,” said Wooten. “We always have some pink merchandise for sale if people want a T-shirt or hat to wear during the walk, and we also have some props like pink tutus that can be borrowed the day of the walk. The more pink we show, the more awareness we raise for breast cancer detection.”
A wide array of supporters turned out for the morning beach walk, and a general feeling of goodwill was palpable. One group of walkers represented three generations of one family, that came from Jacksonboro Baptist Church, where Wooten is a member. Mimi Garvalia, her daughter Danielle Mashburn, and the three grands Peyton, Emma and Belle all completed the beach walk. The kids reported that they found a shark’s tooth, some seashells and that they saw a monarch butterfly too. There is no telling what a morning walk at Edisto Beach may yield.
Wooten receives messages each year after the beach walk, including this year, about how much this event means to participants. “We gave away door prizes that were donated by local businesses this year, but we plan on selling raffle tickets for these prizes,” said Wooten. “We are tinkering with the idea of letting a beach walker get sponsors, in order to drum up a little friendly competition that can raise more money. The proceeds go to the production of comfort pillows that are free to women who need one. The entire Edisto community deserves our thanks for all the help and support we receive each year.”