Spirits upbeat despite downpour at Arthritis Foundation fundraiser 2009: Given Recent

Spirits upbeat despite downpour at Arthritis Foundation fundraiser

Given the recent developments in his life, the involvement of Joey Ries at Saturday's 2009 DeSoto County Let's Move Together Arthritis Walk in Southaven

was especially noteworthy. "My wife and I just had triplets," said Ries, of Hernando, "so they're still in the hospital. I've got a little free time right now." Free time spent for a good cause at Saucier Park, which would have had more than its share of eager walkers had it not been for a steady downpour of rain. Despite the rain, Sibonie Swatzyna (left) and her nephew, Nicholas Pegram, 6, both of Southaven, make a go of it during the 2009 DeSoto County Let's Move Together Arthritis Walk in Saucier Park on Saturday. "We had a lot of stuff planned. It just couldn't happen today," said Erin Wehrly, the DeSoto community director for the Tennessee chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. "We had a moon bounce, all sorts of fun things, but the rain kind of put a damper on that." It would have been the second annual event in Southaven. In 2008, sunshine prevailed, and just under $20,000 was raised. "We're still going to consider this year a success," executive director Ashley McCurrach said. "We've had great support from the community again, and just because we have a little bit of rain, it's still amazing to see people come out and want to be a part of this."

Of course, there were just more than men, women and children in attendance. Several dogs made their way underneath the pavilion, including Waverly the Dalmatian and Dzimby, a Newfoundland mix.

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