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As morning breaks over Bailey Memorial Stadium, the doves take flight

18th Annual Flight of the Dove supports hospice - end of life care for Laurens County


Flight of the Dove.

On the wings of a snow-white dove

He sends His pure sweet love

A sign from above (sign from above)

On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

When troubles surround us

When evils come

The body grows weak (body grows weak)

The spirit grows numb (spirit grows numb)

When these things beset us

He doesn't forget us

He sends down His love (sends down His love)

On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

— Ferlin Husky

Cyclists from all over came to Clinton Saturday morning for the 18th Annual Flight of the Dove. VIA Health Partners, founded as Hospice of Laurens County, played host to the bicyclists, and motorcyclists who rode along with them as part of the annual tradition, in a long-standing fund-raiser for people and families experiencing hospice care.

The event was held at Bailey Memorial Stadium on the Presbyterian College campus. Volunteers came the evening before and by 6:30 a.m. Saturday to prepare for the 8 a.m. send-off.

Clinton Mayor Randy Randall and three of his grandchildren handled the release of, first, a dove-homing pigeon and, then, two cages of the birds. Following The National Anthem and a prayer, it was time for the bicyclists to make their way down the American Flags festooned driveway, and out onto Springdale Drive. The VIA Health Partners office is directly across the bypass from this entrance to PC.

Shorter and much longer rides, including the longest, a Metric Mile, were available to the participants, some riding competitively and some families riding just for fun. Volunteers along the routes handled drink stations for the riders. All enjoyed a mid-morning lunch as they returned to the stadium.

The Laurens County Chamber of Commerce manned a pre-ride breakfast table. Advanced and morning-of registration options were made available for the riders.

Hospice of Laurens County is the longest-standing end-of-life support organization in the county and includes a Hospice House at its facility. VIA Health Partners, formerly Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, is not only a professional end-of-life healthcare provider, but a specialist in providing care during this delicate time. It has operated since 1978 and serves 32 counties across North and South Carolina.

Flight of the Dove 2023 sponsors are: CW Anderson Foundation, Arthur State Bank, Clinton Dental Care, The City of Clinton, Cornerstone Investment Management, CNNGA, PC, PRTC, Laurens Commission of Public Works, Gray Funeral Home, Sadler Hughes Apothecary, State Farm Matt Davis, Servpro of Newberry & Laurens Counties, Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission, Laurens County, Coca Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, BN, US Foods, Destination Powersports, Renfro Brands, Pickle Juice, Country Cindy Photography, Kate’s Real Food, Duchess, and