Published on 04/17/14

Georgia's county officials take to Savannah's River Street for walking event

By Kathryn Schiliro

More than 100 of Georgia’s county commissioners, officials and staff put on their walking shoes early Monday morning, April 14 for a Wellness Walk to encourage physical activity among Georgians.

The event was sponsored by University of Georgia Extension’s Walk Georgia, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and Local Government Risk Management Services, Inc., and was part of the annual ACCG conference, held last week in Savannah.

“I love to exercise,” said Doug Derrer, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners county manager. “I thought it was a good idea to get this group to walk and exercise together.”

Preston Little, of Walton County, whose father, Kevin Little, is chairman of the Walton County Board of Commissioners and incoming ACCG president, was the first to complete the Wellness Walk.

The near two-mile walk started and ended on River Street. Commissioners received one continuing education credit for participating in the walk.

Area 4-H’ers assisted at the event and applauded the commissioners and staff for setting the example of being physically active.

“They’re leaders; if they can do it, we can do it,” said Anna Morris, an event volunteer from Chatham County 4-H.

“They’re not just supporting people; they’re getting out there and doing what they’re supporting,” said Marci Delcampo, an event volunteer from Effingham County 4-H.

Commissioners were given pedometers at the start of the conference to track their steps; prizes were doled out by ACCG based on who had the most steps by the end of the Wellness Walk. Wiley Grady, a Thomas County commissioner, won this award with more than 78,000 steps by the end of the walking event.

Walk Georgia, run jointly by UGA Extension and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, is a free, web-based program that allows Georgians to track their physical activity online and virtually “walk” the state. The program also publishes a daily blog and weekly newsletter with recipes and information on varying wellness and nutrition topics, health-related apps and websites, and state parks. Through a $1 million, three-year gift from The Coca-Cola Foundation, Walk Georgia aims to reach 100,000 Georgians and decrease the number of physically inactive Georgians by 5 percent over the next few years.

The spring session of Walk Georgia closes on April 26. For more information or to register, visit For more information on the UGA Obesity Initiative, see

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