Witches' ride earns $5,500 for CVHN

DEBORAH WHEELER

Halloween is over, but the memory of the good times linger.

One of the best memories is of the annual Witches of South Walton Bike ride.

This year was the 11th annual and bigger than ever, said head-witch Carol Stafford.

Stafford and two friends began the tradition 11 years ago with a casual morning bike ride down 30A, which just so happened to be Halloween. The women decided to dress up for the occasion and a tradition was born.

What began with three friends has grown with this year seeing more than 200 women signing up to join in the frolicking good time.

The ride began promptly at 7 a.m. Halloween morning, leaving from Gulf Place, west to Butler Elementary School with the more than 200 women dressed as witches on bikes.

Cars pull over to video the sight, and those who kept driving honked their horns and waved as the witches wave back, calling out "happy Halloween!" Even a local TV station showed up to film.

At the school, witches lined the road, waving and calling out to children as they arrived.

This year's lark collected $5,500 for the Children's volunteer Health Network, said Stafford, which is the most ever.