By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dr. Bill Perry's walk for the heart
Retirewd pastor heading to Hilton Head to raise money
W Bills walk 001
Dr. Bill Perry begins his third annual walk to raise money for the American Heart Association. - photo by Special
       Statesboro's Dr. Bill Perry is hitting the trail a third time in an effort to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association. And he appreciates the "alone time" to reflect, relax and commune with God on the walk.
       In 2007 Perry, longtime pastor at Statesboro First Baptist Church, raised $4,500 from donations generated by his walking trip to Tybee Island.
       In 2008 Perry walked to St. Simons Island and raised $7,500. He hopes the amount will increase this time as he prepares to begin a walk to Hilton Head Island from Statesboro.
       Perry will walk about 104 miles beginning Monday and hopefully ending Friday, he said.
       Wife Margaret won't be following, but will "find me and we'll go out for supper," on occasion while he makes his way to the island, he said.
Perry was reading a book about Confederate soldiers who had to walk from out of state after the war ended when he decided he would enjoy a long walk - more than just an hour or two near home, he said.
       "I'm kind of eccentric and a little bit crazy," he said. "I decided I wanted to take a long walk - and attach it to something good."
       February is Heart Month, and Perry felt there could be nothing better to raise money for than the American Heart Association, he said.
       What he described as " just a wild hair" has developed into an annual trek for Perry.
       He's never encountered anything more unpleasant than some inclement weather along the way, unless you could count a man who swerved at him once near Ft. Stewart property. "He was kind of kidding, I hope," he said.
       But as local news coverage spreads the word, people know who Perry is and greet him along the way. "I've never felt threatened," he said.
       Both previous years, Perry met with stormy weather, but once " out walked" the brunt of a storm and another time a friend who just happened to be nearby welcomed him to ride the storm out with him.
      Once weather was in the 20's, but Perry said " I like cold weather."
      He realizes the economy may put a damper on donations this year but is hopeful anyway.
      Will he walk home? No way, he said.
      But he will enjoy the 100 mile-plus trek.
      "I need a good bit of alone time, with my thoughts and prayers ... I tell jokes to myself and take along my books," he said.
      Anyone who would like to donate to the American Heart Association through Perry's walk is asked to send checks to Bill Perry, 504 Park Avenue, Statesboro, GA 30458.
      So far, the total amount Perry has raised through walking is $12,172. "Every bit" of all money donated goes to the American Heart Association, he said.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter