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WTOCs Dal Cannady walks to raise funds and awareness
Dal Cannady Web
Dal Cannady, above, will finish his 99-mile walk to raise funds and awareness for the American Red Cross with a reception Tuesday evening at Loco's Restaurant in Statesboro.

            WTOC South Georgia bureau chief and Statesboro resident Dal Cannady is at it again. Traveling all over southeast Georgia, doing interviews, talking to people, finding stories.
        But for seven days that began Wednesday, Cannady is a story himself. Rather, his Walk for the American Red Cross, is the story.
        For the fifth year in a row, Cannady is walking for seven days to raise awareness for the Red Cross Heroes Campaign that kicks off March 1 and to collect monetary donations for the local Red Cross.
        Cannady's walk ends in Statesboro on Tuesday, and Loco's Restaurant is hosting an event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds that night going to the Red Cross. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meet and greet with Cannady, make a donation and give him a welcome home for his contributions to the community and the American Red Cross.
        Cannady is a familiar face around town because of his appearance almost daily on WTOC, bringing news of Statesboro and cities close by to the television screen. It was that job that brought him to his own campaign for the Red Cross.
        Cannady said, "It seemed like so many nights, I ended the news segment with words like ‘...and the American Red Cross is helping this family....' There are terrible disasters on the other side of the world, like tsunamis and earthquakes, but we have small, individual disasters every night of the week. A house fire, an apartment fire, flooding - some mention of a personal disaster is almost always applicable."
        Five years ago, he decided to walk, mostly for awareness of March's Heroes Campaign in conjunction with the presidentially proclaimed "Red Cross Month," but also to collect donations.
        He was surprised by the donations that poured in and the next year was even more organized, with stops planned along the way at various restaurants or places in towns like Twin City, Claxton, Vidalia for him to wait tables, talk with the locals and meet families that experienced their own disasters in the past.
        Cannady said he is always touched by a personal story like one he was told on last year's walk.
        "A gentleman came to me with a donation in one of the small towns during my walk and said, ‘I saw you on TV last night. My house burned down in 2002 and the Red Cross was there for us.'"
        When his walk is over, Cannady will have traveled 99 miles - the age of the American Red Cross.
        "Each year I've walked, I've added a mile because the Red Cross gets one year older." Cannady chuckled and said next year might be his last campaign of this nature.
        "The Red Cross is turning 100. That might be a good time to stop. These knees and feet are turning 50."
        With sore legs and blisters on his feet, Cannady raised $16,000 last year, making his total contribution $38,000 for the years combined.
        Cannady left on Wednesday for his walk, By the end of the day, six lives and many homes were lost across the south due to a storm system that brought high winds and tornadoes - a day that he most likely would have ended a news segment with words like, "...and the Red Cross is assisting the family."
        Join Cannady on Tuesday night at Loco's Restaurant to visit and make a donation to the American Red Cross.
        After all, the Red Cross "May be standing in your yard tonight or tomorrow night," he said.
        Go to Dal Cannady's Walk for American Red Cross Facebook page for photos and more information.

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