Wig Walkers get wet, go on

May. 11, 2014 @ 07:04 AM

It only rained once on Saturday’s Wig Walk.

Everything started fine. It was overcast, but not heavily so, or dark. The temperature hovered around 70.

The walk began, and the line of walkers stretched out along the paved path of the Lenoir Greenway like a giant, chattering centipede.

Then suddenly, about a quarter-mile into the event, the sky opened.

People gasped and yelped in the heavy rain. Marcie Haney and Phyllis Hudson, two sisters from Gamewell, contemplated sprinting across a freshly plowed field, the most direct path to their cars, but the prospect of sinking up to their shins in “mud and manure” deterred them.

“It’s going to be a wet T-shirt contest at the end!” Haney said.

But the rain let up, and the walkers walked on.

The final number of people who registered for this year’s Wig Walk was not immediately available, but early registrations had been ahead of last year’s walk, which raised $4,000 for the Wig Bank of Caldwell County. The goal this year was $5,000.

As the name implies, the Wig Bank provides wigs for patients whose hair is falling out because of their cancer treatments, but it also provides support groups for patients and caregivers as well as other services, even yoga classes.

The more than 100 people who took part in the walk included cancer survivors, friends and relatives of people who have had cancer, and some who just support the Wig Bank’s work.

Brittany Winegarger of Granite Falls, sporting a bright, rainbow wig, said she identifies with the Wig Bank’s mission.

“I’m a hairstylist, so it hits the heart a little bit,” she said, “because hair is very important to women.”