Oconee County Sheriff’s Deputy Norm Dukes has again put on his walking shoes to help school children in the tiny Upstate town of Salem.
A year ago, the 61-year-old resource officer at Tamassee-Salem High School took the 164-mile trek from the North Carolina line to the State Capitol steps in Columbia to raise money for the school’s athletic program. Dukes is walking this year 125 miles from the State capitol to Sullivan’s Island where he said he will “stick his toes in the Atlantic Ocean” to help raise funds for Tamassee-Salem Elementary School’s 38-student fifth grade class’ trip this spring to Washington, D.C.
Dukes said he doesn’t need a huge sign or to bang on a drum to call attention to what he’s doing. “I have found that no matter where you go in this beautiful state, everybody is friendly and willing to help,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “I had a teacher stop somewhere below Cameron and asked me if I was okay. When I told her what I was doing, she told me when I gave her a business card that she would drop a check in the mail.”
Dukes said the largest contribution he’s received so far is $500. He says he hasn’t set a goal, he just wants to raise as much money as he can for the class trip.