A CAUSE WORTH MARCHING FOR
MARCH FOR BABIES SHINES LIGHT ON THE HEALTH OF MOMS AND BABIES

STORY 269 MAGAZINE

ORGANIZATION: MARCH OF DIMES

EVENT: MARCH FOR BABIES

DATE: MAY 20, 2018

TIME: 10:00 A.M.

LOCATION: CELERY FLATS, 7335 GARDEN LANE, PORTAGE, MI

JULIE RUEL

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT MARCH OF DIMES

WHAT MAKES THIS EVENT SO SPECIAL TO YOU?

I have a personal connection to the mission. I was a premature baby, which for me, also meant that I was born with a congenital heart defect. The March for Babies helps raise money to educate people and medical professionals to make sure that moms and babies get the best possible care. It also helps to fund research to find solutions to the biggest risks premature babies face. More than that, the March for Babies brings our mission to life, connecting with those most affected in the community.

WHAT CAN PARTICIPANTS EXPECT?

This year, the March for Babies will be held at Celery Flats in Portage. The event is free to attend. The walk starts at 10:00 a.m., and this year we are adding a fun run 5K as a pilot program. You should expect to come about an hour early to register and to get your team together. And you may want to bring a jacket and possibly an umbrella depending on the forecast. Hopefully, however, we have bright and sunny skies!

Once you get there, you will see our mission come to life. We will have a kids’ zone for families with games and vendors. There will also will be a selfie station for team photos and to capture some of the wacky outfits and T-shirts that some walkers come up with. Before the march starts, we have a superhero sprint for ages one to 10. Each of the little ones gets to put on a cape and take off towards the finish line. The race represents the flight of these kids and how they were able to fly over the finish.

When the main walk starts, the trail splits into three sections. The first is the hope section where you can see signs with information to spread awareness of the issues premature babies face. The memory mile comes next and serves as a tribute to the babies that have been lost. The last section is to celebrate! Here the path will be lined with posters for babies that have overcome the complications that come with being born prematurely.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE EVENT?

The March for Babies has our signature event since 1972. Since then it has been our biggest fundraiser. But more than that, it gives us a chance to celebrate our mission.

The best part for me is to see families come together. We have people who have been through the same ordeal come together and share their experiences. We see children that started as tiny one-pound babies who are now healthy toddlers or just starting kindergarten. Parents can walk through the celebration section and point to a photo of their baby with their story. To me, that is priceless.

HOW TO REGISTER: MarchForBabies.org

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