In the spirit of Memorial Day, families and local heroes gathered for a walk down Drayton Street on Saturday morning. It was the 10th annual Savannah Mile, which raises money for the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire. This is the charity that gives to families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. Police, fire, and military men and women ran in full gear. Families were honored at the chance of walking to honor their fallen.
Those in uniform led the walk to remember the lives lost in the line of duty. Following their cadence were the families who lost loved ones.
“They’ve endured a lot of loss, but they’ve had a lot of support along the way,” Patsy Rogers said.
Rogers walked in memory of her husband, a Claxton Fire Chief of 30 years, Larry Rogers.
“He responded to multiple fires in one day, and died of a massive heart attack,” Rogers said.
Families like Rogers, 40 total, walked the mile through the tunnel of crowd cheering.
“Seeing the people on the sides, that’s something, I never get used to that. I feel like I’ve done nothing,” Felicia Collins said.
Collins lost her husband, Melvin Collins, a Brunswick police officer. He was shot and killed fighting-off robbers at a convenient store.
“For me, this day is about remembering without being sad. So, even though we’re honoring people that have lost their lives or been severely injured, it’s a day to just be happy even though it’s honoring those who we’ve lost,” Collins said.
Saturday was her chance to show gratitude toward those who helped her family financially after their loss.
“What the 200 Club does and what events like this do is it puts out that remembrance, that we will never forget. We care for those who care for us, and that’ll live on. We keep in touch with family members forever,” 200 Club President Mark Dana said.
Over the years, the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire has assisted 52 families, giving 1.2 million dollars. Their assistance ranges from helping pay bills, to fully funding college educations.