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Dr. Bill Perry walks to St. Simons to raise money for American Heart Association
Bill Perry
Dr. Bill Perry, retired pastor of First Baptist Church in Statesboro, is shown leaving his home early Monday morning to begin his walk for charity to St. Simon's Island. Dr. Perry is trekking the 120+ miles to raise awareness about heart disease and to raise money for the American Heart Association. - photo by Special
    Statesboro's Dr. Bill Perry started walking Monday and won't stop until he gets to St. Simon's Island, about 120 miles from Statesboro.
    Well, he stops for breaks and to sleep at night, but by Friday Perry hopes to reach is destination.
    Why? To raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association.
    Perry is doubling his efforts last year, when he walked 60 miles to the lighthouse on Tybee Island.
    Helping the American Heart Association isn't anything new to the Baptist minister. He hosted a cablethon fund raiser for years to help the association, and supports the AHA partly in memory of his mother, who suffered from congestive heart failure.
    The American Heart Association " has been an interest for a long time," he said Tuesday as he navigated his way through a portion of Ft. Stewart. "This is Heart Month, and I like to walk in the winter."
    The efforts he makes is to bring awareness and support research and education regarding heart health, he said.
    So, at 6:30 a.m. Monday he took off walking.
    "Camping out last night was interesting," he said, referring to a night spent in a park in Pembroke. "The people of Pembroke were so wonderful. People have been so nice along  the way."
    People who saw him on television stopped and encouraged him, he said. A "college age girl named Megan" stopped him on Interstate 16 and handed him a $20 bill, he said. Several others have pledged various amounts to be paid according to the number of miles he walks. Last year he raised $5,500 by walking 60 miles, and it would be wonderful to surpass that, he said. "I have lots of sponsors."
    To donate through Perry, send a check made out to the American Heart Association in care of Perry at 504 Park Avenue, Statesboro, Ga. 30458, or drop a donation off at any Statesboro bank, in an envelope marked "American Heart Association - Attention Bill Perry."
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