'Walk With Billy' program starts tonight

Local residents can lace up their sneakers tonight, and join McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland for the start of the second annual "Walk With Billy."

The series of walks, which begins tonight, is sponsored by the City of McDonough as part of the city's Wellness Program, according to Cathy Lacey, information specialist for the McDonough Welcome Center.

The first walk is scheduled for tonight, at 6:30 p.m., beginning at the Welcome Center at 5 Griffin St., on the McDonough Square.

Copeland said he initially came up with the idea for the program after learning of a similar program in another state.

"Several years ago, I read about a wellness program in Philadelphia, which I believed had a great deal of merit and would be beneficial to our community," he said. "During my campaign in 2005, I spoke about initiating a program, and finally had the opportunity to do so last year."

The walks, which Copeland will lead, will be three miles long, said Lacey.

"The activity will begin and end at the Welcome Center," she continued. "There will be two ‘early stop' areas, after one and two miles. The pace of the walk will be brisk but not strenuous."

Lacey said Copeland will pause briefly at various stops along the way, to share historical information.

Walkers are expected to follow Copeland through residential neighborhoods near the McDonough Square.

"The route will be slightly different than last year," Copeland said. "I have 77 years worth of McDonough trivia stored in my head, so I am certain that I will share stories that may be new to many of the participants."

Other walks are scheduled for April 10 at 11 a.m.; April 13 at 6:30 a.m.; April 15 at 6:30 p.m.; April 17 at 11 a.m.; April 20 at 6:30 a.m.; April 22 at 6:30 p.m.; and April 24 at 11 a.m.

For more information, call (770) 957-3915.