Witches of South Walton flock to 30A for a good cause

Published: Nov. 1, 2016 at 7:52 AM CDT
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If you woke to the sound of witches cackling Monday, don't be alarmed. They were good witches brewing up trouble for a cause.

The Witches of South Walton flew into 30A on Halloween morning, cackling, casting spells, and flying around on their bicycles turned broomsticks.

"So what brought me out here is all the fun and excitement on Halloween," Tonya Kilpatrick, one of the witches, said. "You just you feel the spirit of the joy of celebrating Halloween."

All this wicked fun is for a good cause.

"And mainly it's a way of giving back to Children's Volunteer Health Network," Kilpatrick said.

"The spirit is of course giving," Erin Chekaoui, another one of the witches, said. "It is for the charity. All these women are local women, mothers, wives, business women that are participating."

"It really takes the full community to support that effort, because we don't rely on government funding," Director of the Children's Volunteer Health Network Zach Billingsley said. "And this event will raise several thousand dollars that will go towards those efforts."

The event began 13 years ago, with three friends who just decided to wear witches hats for a bike ride.

"I can remember just having a plain hat on, our tennis shoes on, and all we did was put our hat on, and we rode from Grayton Beach to maybe here at Gulf Place, no we ended up at the school," Carol Stafford, one of the original three witches, said.

Every year more witches join the ride; this year with more than 200 in tow.

"It's been really cool because we try to put smiles on kids faces, to take away the pain and the self esteem issues that they deal with," Billingsley said. "And when you can get a group together out here just cackling and having fun, this and all for a good cause, that's just what it's all about."

Children's Volunteer Health Network is an organization that provides immediate medical, dental and vision care for uninsured or under-insured children in Walton and Okaloosa Counties.