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Walterboro Welcomes Native Americans on Longest Walk 3 for Diabetes

Walterboro, S.C. – The City of Walterboro, known for its historic charm and abundant natural resources, will play host this June to the “Longest Walk 3” (Reversing Diabetes 2011), a 5000 mile walk/run relay across America to raise awareness of diabetes among Native Americans.

Hosted by the Colleton County “Eat Smart Move More” Clemson University Extension program, the City of Walterboro, The Colleton Museum and many volunteers, this cultural exchange will take place in downtown Walterboro on June 20.

As part of the event, the walkers will enter the Great Swamp Sanctuary, an 842 acre nature preserve, on Monday, June 20, for some Native American storytelling featuring a Native American blessing led by Chief Dennis Banks. The storytelling is a free event that will take place at the Detriville Entrance Duck Pond from 10 a.m. to 11a.m. Afterwards, the walkers will continue on a mile walk through the Great Swamp Sanctuary towards the Washington Street entrance and on to the Colleton Museum for a cookout lunch complete with fresh produce from the city’s local farmer’s market.

The Native American Celebration of Life follows that evening from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, includes a drumming circle and flute players and will be held at the Walterboro-Colleton Recreation Center. Waccamaw Chief Buster Hatcher will open the program by introducing Chief Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement. Banks, who was diagnosed with diabetes last year, has reversed it through proper diet and exercise. Banks’ goal is to educate America about the devastating effects of diabetes and how they can be reversed. “Everyone should have a garden for good nutrition and exercise. We are working on a 50 year program to reverse the symptoms of diabetes. If we don’t start now, in 50 years we will all have diabetes, with no future at all,” Banks said.

The Longest Walk 3 began on February 14, 2011, with both a northern and southern route totaling close to 10,000 miles. The walk will conclude on July 8, 2011, in Washington, D.C. For more information on the Longest Walk 3, contact Chief Harold Hatcher, Waccamaw Indian People, at 843-347-3940, or visit www.longestwalk3.com.

Established in 1826, the City of Walterboro is hailed as the “front porch of the Lowcountry,” with its historic charm and plentiful natural resources. The area around the city, rich with forests and vast quantities of water, is also known as the gateway to the ACE Basin, one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast. Centrally located between Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head, and Columbia, the city is home to many historic buildings, antique stores and the S.C. Artisans Center, designated by the state’s legislature as the “Official South Carolina Folk Art and Craft Center.” With about 5,800 residents, Walterboro serves as the economic heart of Colleton County and maintains a small-town Americana atmosphere. For more information, call 843-549-2545 or visit www.walterborosc.org.

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