Colleyville — Thirty-seven blind or visually impaired people walked a mile on June 1 to raise awareness and funds for organizations that aid the visually impaired.A group of race organizers and 5k runners cheered on the walkers as they crossed the finish line.Gayle Scott was one of the walkers.“I had a good time,” the Fort Worth resident with Lighthouse for the Blind said. “I think it’s excellent and helps our organization.”The walk was part of the 16th annual xSIGHTment Run 5k run and walk and one-mile fun-run hosted by the Colleyville Lion’s Club. Michael Ganschow, the event chairman, said this year’s event raised about $25,000 with 375 participants. The club hosts the event to raise money for organizations including Blind Veterans, Leaderdogs for the Blind and others.Scott who has been blind for about 20 years, said she’s already looking forward to next year’s event.Judy Johnson of North Richland Hills was attending the event for the second time. This year, she brought an entourage.The former P.E. teacher who lost her vision 3 years ago, told her friends and family about the event and a group of 16 others joined her.“It was just awesome,” Johnson said. “I can’t explain how much these people mean to me.”Those close to Johnson wore stickers with a picture of Johnson smiling and the name, “Judy’s Joggers.”Johnson and her friends said they’re bringing 32 people next year.Elizabeth El Aiady, a Lion’s Club member and vocational rehabilitation counselor at Texas Division for Blind Services, stood by the finish line to cheer on the walkers, especially those using canes.“It’s hard to put that into words,” she said about seeing people cross the finish line. “It’s thrilling.”She said it takes confidence for people to begin using a cane, so she was happy to see them walking.Colleyville resident Ally Short ran in the 5k.“It was really fun and nice to do something I like to do, which is running, and help people,” the 15-year-old said.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dussssstin