Packet Sea Foam: Dynamos' efforts inspire community

October 25, 2010 

Thanks to the Daufuskie Island residents who shared the story of the Daufuskie Dynamos.

Sixteen members of the Daufuskie Dynamos completed the Susan G. Komen 3 Day/60 Mile Walk for the Cure in Washington, D.C., the weekend of Oct. 8-10.

Net proceeds raised during the 15 scheduled walks throughout the country will support breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment through the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

To participate in the walk, each team member of the Daufuskie team had to raise a minimum of $2,300. The team raised more than $40,000. The 2,000 walkers in Washington raised more than $5 million.

The Daufuskie Dynamos team included team captains, Dee Johnston and Cathy Tillman, and members Sharyn Arnold, Yvonne Clemmons, Cheryl Landis-Morgan and Debbie Miller, all of Daufuskie Island. Tori Stright of Daufuskie raised her money, but was unable to make the walk.

Additional team members included friends and family: Erica Clemons, Natalie Clemons, Mike Guilford, Paula Katz, Georgette Loizou, Samira Salem, Heather Shea, Ashley Steele and Yale Williams.

This is the second year for the Daufuskie Dynamos to walk in a Komen 3 Day/60 Mile Walk for the Cure. Last year, they fielded a team of 12 members from Haig Point who walked in Boston, raising more than $33,000.

Two team members are cancer survivors, and one of the men walks for his wife with cancer.

Dee Johnston said, "I have two aunts who have had breast cancer, and my mother-in-law. I've had two scares, with my 19-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old niece. One in eight get breast cancer, and we have a lot of breast cancer in my family."

Dee said she always cries at the closing ceremonies at the three-day walks.

"If would could help in any way, we would be absolutely thrilled," she said.

According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure (www.the3day.org), approximately 200,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and nearly 40,000 will die from the disease. While these statistics are sobering, individually, many of us have been touched in one way or another by cancer.

But Dee said the walks have done more than raise money. She said the effort has become a growing force on Daufuskie. It is a bonding experience that helps pull together the small community on the island with no bridge.

It starts with the fundraising. The Dynamos seek personal pledges for their 60-mile walk, but they also get together regularly to brainstorm for ways to raise money they can all split to help reach their $2,300 commitment.

Then they pull the community into the efforts. They've organized golf, tennis, yoga and disco dancing events to raise money. They had a silent auction for dinner for eight served by Vicky Evans of Flip Flop Cuisine, which sold for $1,000. They had a "Bikini Cart Wash," which was a big success, but the ladies wore T-shirts that said "Bikini Cart Wash" instead of bikinis.

"We tricked them on that one," Dee said.

Training for the walk also helps bring Daufuskie together.

The Walk for the Cure organization sends out a 24-week training schedule to help get participants ready for a 60-mile walk. On Daufuskie, the walkers do some training on their own and also get together to train once a week.

"The whole community gets involved," Dee said. "A lot of ladies not on the walk come, all in pink. We have coaches who measure a course and organize us. We begin walking two miles and stretch it to 15. It's a whole morning, and we work it around a breakfast or lunch together at one of our restaurants. A few ladies who can't do the walking come for the meal to show support."

The walkers pay their own way to the walk site, where they spend nights in pink pup tents. They pay their own registration fees.

Next year, they'll be going to Philadelphia for another Susan G. Komen 3 Day/60 Mile Walk for the Cure.

"On little Daufuskie Island, you'd be so surprised and so pleased with what we can do," Dee said.

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