CHARELSTON, S.C. (WCIV) – With 43,000 people geared up to take part in the Cooper River Bridge Run, packet pick-up is sure to be chaotic. But thanks to more than 3,500 volunteers, the hustle and bustle is made easy.
"We bring people as they're coming in to pick up their packets. We move them along the stage so they won't have a long wait. And, as they're picking up their packets I make sure that they tell them, you know, to enjoy their run," said Jennifer Vandross Walton.
Walton is a 10-year volunteer and a health/physical education teacher at Burke High School. She offers her students extra credit if they volunteer for the run.
"They learn how to work with other people in other words. They learn how to network. And, they just form like a bond year after year," said Walton.
While the rush of packet pick-up seems difficult to handle, Walton says her student enjoy the challenge.
"It looks like it's tedious and looks like it's unorganized, but once they get involved they find that it's very organized. And, they just love doing it," said Walton.
Walton says having a hand in such a large project gives the students a sense of pride.
"A lot of times they'll say, ‘Well, I did that', ‘that's what I did', you know? So, it gives them a good feeling about themselves," said Walton. "Sometimes they say, ‘oh, I'm not going to ever run. But, then the next year I see that they are really participating in the running part of it. So, it's a gradual growth for them, but they are growing by leaps and bounds.