Once a year, a wonderful event inspired just for babies happens and it’s called the March of Dimes. Originally founded to cure polio, now it is out to support the health of pregnant women and babies since 1970 and has raised over $3.2 billion.
Family teams and even corporate businesses sponsor the event which includes over 900 communities across the nation.
On April 25, Ocala was one of those communities. CF’s Wellness program was a part of one of these teams to participate as well as sponsoring the event as a spirit station for the March of Babies, originally called Walk America.
The event registration began at 7 a.m. with CF’s team picture taken for the event at 7:20. The walk did not hold any restrictions on who could walk, and ranged from toddlers to CF students, and even those who were handicapped in wheelchairs.
Participants chose whether to walk or run for the six miles of the Walk for Babies. To participate, most people donated money and walked while some only donated. Every CF students who participated raised at least $20 each or even more in some cases, many of which usually come out of their own pockets, if not from a sponsor.
Erica Martinez was one of the CF students who decided to run most of the six miles.
“I finished with a time of an hour and ten minutes,” Martinez said.
Martinez also raised $30 for the event. Dr. Burton’s Wellness class had many participants from donators to both donators and walkers. Among those walkers were Kelsey Bowman and Patricia Blair, both of whom chose to walk.
“It was painful, but well worth it,” Bowman said.
With all the water stations, free goodies from the sponsors, and even a free lunch included for a great cause – what could be a better way to raise money to save lives?
“It was tons of fun,” Blair said.
Altogether, there were great goodies from towels to pins, even balloons were collected from all 15 of the spirit stations.
One of the most dedicated parts of the walk was it brought the people from the very area affected by the March of Dimes to light. They lined the last mile of the walkway with survivors as well as dedications to all of the premature babies born in the area.
Festivities after the long walk included music, food, and even playtime at the park next door. Clowns also gathered under the pavilion to paint faces and create balloon designs for participants of every age. A relaxation tent was also set up for participants to receive a free relaxing massage afterwards.
This worthwhile event brought together many people for a great cause and it will continue to do so, make sure to look forward to next year’s event and do not forget to donate when possible!
By: Taylor Champion