"On your marks! Get set! Go!," echoes from a megaphone into the Waynesboro morning.
And with the last command, 15 children are off to the races.
"I had fun!" exclaims seven year old J.J. James.
But for kids like J.J., this was no ordinary race. This was a chance to feel normal.
J.J. was born with cerebral palsy. At four years old, he was diagnosed with brain cancer, but has been cancer-free for two years.
Leg braces poke out of his tennis shoes, secured to his calves.
But those braces didn't stop him from taking part in the 5th Annual Bird Dog Breakaway in Waynesboro Saturday morning.
"Why was it fun?" asks Fox 54's Jake Wallace.
"Cause I got to run fast!" J.J. replies.
Nearly 300 runners and walkers hit the Waynesboro pavement for the Saturday race, which benefits the Center for New Beginnings, a non-profit serving children with special needs from five counties.
There was a 5k, a two mile walk, and two children's races, including an adaptive sports race for special needs children.
Grasping his grandparents' hands tight, J.J. set out on the adaptive course- down a 50 yard stretch of road and back.
With each step, and the cheers of hundreds, J.J.'s face beamed.
"It's what we're here for, you know? To build these kids up, as well as their families," says Center for New Beginnings Director Sarah Ashe. "That light we see in those kids is hat we're here for."
Look around Waynesboro City Park Saturday, and smiles like J.J.'s lit up the square.
Ten year old Aaron, who also suffers from cerebral palsy, is unable to move or talk.
But Aaron completed the 5k run with the help of Ashe's husband, Glen.
"He was smiling and laughing the whole way," Glen laughs, short of breath from pushing Aaron's chair the length of the course. "Every time we'd go by somebody, he would be laughing and smiling, and that just kept me going."
Julie Prescott watched her son, who suffers from autism, finish the 5k race alongside his sister.
"He came across the line, and he just looked at us and he had this huge smile on his face," Prescott says, her smile matching the one she describes. "He just knew he had done something."
And for all three of these children, Saturday's Bird Dog Breakaway was a chance just to be a kid and have a good time.
The event raised nearly $10,000 for the Center for New Beginnings.
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:04 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:04:50 GMT
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road. Firefighters were on the scene until around 8:30 a.m. No injuriesMore >>
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road.
Sunday, May 19 2013 9:38 AM EDT2013-05-19 13:38:04 GMT
Richmond County Dispatch confirms there has been a stabbing at a Family Dollar. Deputies say it happened on the 2900 block of Dean's Bridge Road around 7:18 tonight. Information is limited at this tiMore >>
Richmond County Sheriff's Office deputies confirmed a stabbing at the Family Dollar on Dean's Bridge Rd. around 7:15 this evening.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:38 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:38:46 GMT
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night. Aiken County deputies say they started searching for the suspectsMore >>
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:32 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:32:22 GMT
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island. Aiken County dispatch said it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There are at least two suspects,More >>
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:23:19 GMT
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by whatMore >>
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by what investigators said was a bat along the Augusta Riverwalk on May 3rd.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:05:19 GMT
Instead of spending the day at the computer, some Augustans spent their day learning about it. People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta'sMore >>
People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta's growth in the technology sector.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 5:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 21:55:44 GMT
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.Bradford was a Grovetown resident, according to information from a DynCorp spokesperson.The spokesperson toldMore >>
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:47:31 GMT
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday. Columbia County dispatch said two cars were involved withMore >>
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:40:22 GMT
Richmond County Sheriff's Office released the following information in regards to Deputy Creech: Sheriff Roundtree and the family of Deputy Alton Daniel Creech would like to thank everyone within our community forMore >>
Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Extension, Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2013 at 11am. Deputy Creech will lie in state for one hour prior to the service.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:31 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:31:56 GMT
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech. Two of Creech's close friends, who go by Solo and Ruff, say they've been unableMore >>
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech.More >>