'Hurts to be No. 1' Arthritis Foundation kick-off is Tuesday

As April gets closer and Blount Countians are enjoying the first days of spring, oganizers of the Blount County Arthritis Walk are gearing up for May.

The walk will be Saturday, May 5 at Maryville College.

The theme, "It hurts to be No. 1," is the national Arthritis Walk slogan for 2007. Arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability in America and affects 1 in 3 Tennesseans, even children.

A Community Kick-off will help get things rolling on from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, at the new Alcoa location of Ruby Tuesday, across from the airport. Food will be provided by Ruby Tuesday and fun program will "get you pumped about the Walk," according to Walk organizers.

Teams are being formed now for the walk, which will include recognition of those with arthritis, Cinco de Mayo treats and events for children. The walk is also "dog-friendly," so Fido can join in the fight against arthritis as well.

Jim Piper is the 2007 Blount County Walk Hero. Piper, 25, was diagnosed with arthritis as a teenager. He has had full knee replacement in one leg and expects to have the other knee replaced within a few years.

To sign up for the walk, visit www.blountcountyarthritiswalk.kintera.org, or contact Erin Hutchison at the Arthritis Foundation office, 865-470-7909.

To RSVP for the Community Kick-off at Ruby Tuesday, Alcoa, call Erin at the above number, or email her at

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