The March of Dimes annual March for Babies walk is happening this Saturday, April 21, and the folks at the Southeast Texas chapter of the March of Dimes are preparing for one of their best walks yet. They have more than 150 teams signed up for this year’s event, and they hope to surpass the amount of money raised last year, organizers said. Last year more than 1,000 people participated in the walk, and organizers are expecting another great turnout with more people walking this year.
Donna Blanchette, program director for the Southeast Texas chapter of March of Dimes, and the rest of the hard-working employees and volunteers that have spent time at Lamar putting the event and walking course together, expect that this year’s event can reach the $215,000 fundraising goal that was set by Blanchette when the fundraising campaign for the March for Babies kicked off back in February. Last year, the March for Babies walk generated just under $200,000, Blanchette said, thus the increase for this year’s total.
March of Dimes is a nonprofit that raises money to help mothers, premature babies and babies born with birth defects. The March for Babies walk is a national event that raises millions of dollars each year to help fund the local March of Dimes chapters.
There will be plenty of fun and festivities at the walk, which will again be held at the Lamar University campus, and sign-ups and registration will take place at the John Gray Center on Florida Avenue. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and Beth Mlcak, administrative assistant at the Southeast Texas chapter of March for Dimes, urges all participants and teams to get to the campus early to get signed up. The walk is three miles.
In addition to the walk, there will be something for the kids, including an activity tent where the kids can play, and of course no kids’ tent would be complete without a moon bounce. There will also be a T-shirt boutique with previous March for Babies T-shirts for sell as well as other March for Dimes items. The walk will be held rain or shine.And once the walk is complete, there will be a picnic afterward, which many of the corporate sponsored teams are setting up tents for, so there will definitely be something for everyone at this year’s walk.
“A lot of effort and hard work has been put in by everybody, and of course the people of Southeast Texas have been incredible in their response in supporting March of Dimes,” Mlcak said. “We owe a lot to our logistic committee volunteers and all the sponsors for making all of this come together. Saturday is going to be a fun day for everyone.”